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Russia to recognize Covid-19 antibodies from foreign vaccines

Russians who received Covid-19 jabs abroad will be able to apply for vaccine passes, allowing them to avoid restrictions on public gatherings, Moscow’s top coronavirus response official announced on Monday.
“Our citizens who were immunized with foreign vaccines can take an antibody test and receive a certificate that will last for six months,” said Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova, who has been charged with organizing much of the country’s response to the pandemic.

However, Kremlin Press Secretary Dmitry Peskov told journalists later on Monday that the move does not amount to a full recognition of foreign vaccines. At present, only Russia’s domestically made jabs can be used in the country.

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        <img src="https://cdni.rt.com/files/2021.12/thumbnail/61a8f24385f54068c14ee345.jpg" alt="A medical specialist wearing protective gear treats patients at an intensive care ward at a pavilion of the Exhibition of Achievements of National Economy, which was converted into a reserve hospital for people suffering from the coronavirus disease, in Moscow, Russia. © Sputnik / Ilya Pitalev" />
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Golikova also announced that Russians who have previously contracted Covid-19, including those who didn’t seek medical help, would be allowed to test for antibodies and get the vaccine pass.

“Citizens who have tested positive after January 1, 2021, and who didn’t get treatment in a medical facility, will be invited to go to a laboratory for antibody analysis. We won’t measure the quantity of antibodies, we’ll only get a result of ‘yes’ or ‘no,’” she explained.

Those who show antibodies for the virus and who have already received a positive PCR test will be granted vaccine certificates for one year. People with antibodies but without a PCR result will get a pass lasting six months.

Earlier in the pandemic, Russians who tested positive for the virus were placed under strict quarantine rules and monitored using mobile phone apps. However, because many chose not to get tested, or conducted an unofficial test at home, officials have speculated that there are many people in the country who have antibodies but who never went to the doctor.

Golikova’s comments come as Russia’s parliament debates legislation pertaining to a possible nationwide QR-code system that could restrict access to public areas based on vaccination status. On Monday, State Duma Chairman Vyacheslav Volodin announced that the chamber had shelved a proposal to require QR codes on public transport. Some regional authorities have already mandated proof of vaccination for mass transit and access to public spaces.

In September, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov called for countries to approve each other’s vaccines, saying, “We support mutual recognition of vaccines approved by national oversight bodies, in the interests of lifting restrictions on international travel of citizens as soon as possible.”

The vast majority of those inoculated in Russia have received the country’s pioneering Sputnik V vaccine, which has been made available in 71 countries. The jab, however, has not yet been approved by the World Health Organization. Earlier this month, the Russian Foreign Ministry announced that it expected approval in the first half of next year, saying that only “technical paperwork” was holding back the process.
https://ift.tt/3Ikgu0e 13, 2021 at 05:29PM
from RT – Daily news

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