Emergency vaccination against COVID-19, when those recovered from the disease or those already inoculated are recommended to get vaccinated or revaccinated in six months, will continue in Russia until herd immunity is reached, which is about 60% of adult population, the Russian Health Ministry’s temporary recommendations on COVID-19 vaccination in possession of TASS inform.
"Vaccination and revaccination of citizens is divided into routine and emergency vaccination in accordance with the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO). <…> In order to reach herd immunity of the population, vaccination against the novel coronavirus infection COVID-19 should be held 6 months after recovery from the disease (including previously vaccinated persons) or 6 months after the initial vaccination (‘emergency’ vaccination)," the document says.
The six-month period is chosen because according to international and Russian research, people retain a stable immune response to the virus for about six months after recovering from the disease, and immunity gradually goes down in 9 to 12 months. Besides, the immune response may be weakened due to new mutations of the virus.
Due to the fact that so far, the optimal level of antibodies that would offer 100% protection against COVID-19 has not been determined, citizens are recommended to get vaccinated regardless of their antibody count.
On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual Q&A session that the spread of COVID-19 can only be prevented through vaccination. He noted that a number of Russian regions had introduced obligatory vaccination of certain groups of citizens, adding that it is within the law, and that all these measures are aimed to avoid another lockdown. The Russian leader said that he remains against obligatory COVID-19 vaccination.
Russian Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova earlier said that as of June 23, about 23 mln Russian citizens have received the first shot of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 16.7 mln have received both components. Over 5.5 mln Russians have recovered from the disease. In order to reach herd immunity in Russia, 60% of the population must be vaccinated, which is about 69 mln people. Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov earlier noted that Russia will not be able to achieve herd immunity by the fall.