Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov on Thursday gave his backing to obligatory vaccination of certain categories of workers in some Russian regions, as well as the admission of only vaccinated students to in-person studies.
"Taking into account the [coronavirus] situation, it is an absolutely right decision. This is my personal point of view," Peskov told the Russian Ekho Moskvy broadcaster when asked whether the compulsory vaccination was a move in the right direction.
Peskov also spoke in support of recommendations made by the Council of Rectors of Moscow and the Moscow Region to allow only vaccinated students to attend in-person studies from 1 September. He added that even though he backed the principle of voluntary vaccination, the immunization campaign in the country was going "weakly."
"Therefore, such extraordinary measures, I believe, are absolutely necessary and justified," he said.
Peskov said though all conditions for the successful and rapid vaccination campaign were in place in Russia, the country fails to pursue it with needed vigor.
On Wednesday, Moscow authorities ordered retail, public services, catering, transport, healthcare, housing, education and culture organization to ensure that 60% of their employees are fully vaccinated by 15 August. The authorities of Russia's regions of Sakhalin and Kuzbas issued the similar order.
Several Russian regions, including the capital of Moscow and the city of St. Petersburg have seen a surge in the COVID-19 cases over the past few weeks and imposed a set of preventive measures to curb it, including restrictions of activities of entertainment and food facilities, as well as strolling in city parks.