Yesterday the Levada Center released a new poll on vaccines that tends to confirm my contention that Russia’s tawdry pace of vaccinations is not a result of supply constraints, but the banal fact that many Russians (including in older age groups) would simply rather catch Corona than get vaccinated.
The first observation is that the percentage of people saying they won’t get vaccinated has been steady at more than 50% of population despite half a year and counting of increasingly intense government pro-vaccination propaganda.
The people who are open to getting vaccinated are doing exactly just that. 19% say they have been, which is close to the 18% of official statistics. Unless there’s some cardinal change of views, this means that Russia’s final vaccination rate is probably capped at something like 40-50% (short of it being made mandatory – but that is unlikely to happen, 58% oppose that idea and so does Putin).
Note that this poll was conducted in 24-30 Jun, when the Delta wave was already in full swing and Moscow restaurants were ordered to require QR vaccination codes for entry.
This graph, however, is much more telling. In most countries, it is the elderly who are much more eager to get the vaccine, for obvious reasons. In Russia, these inter-generational differences are much more modest. Almost half of 55+ year olds simply don’t want to get vaccinated and that’s that. Amongst those who do, half already had been.
This is the main and really only reason why in Britain, where vaccination of the elderly is at 95%+, mortality is drastically lower than in Russia where interest from that demographic (and in general) was so feeble that age restrictions on Sputnik access were withdrawn a month after it became publicly available in January.
Moreover, contrary to claims made by pro-Western propagandists (including some in comments to this blog), pro-vaccination sentiments, at least as concerns Russian-made vaccines, are much stronger amongst Putin supporters.
Of those who approve of Putin, 22% are vaccinated and 31% intend to (=53% total), while 45% would not.
Of those who don’t approve of Putin, only 14% are vaccinated and 14% intend to (=28% total), while 71% would not.
This is partially explainable by the age effect because younger people are more anti-Putin and also more anti-vaccination. However, since the difference between ideology is much stronger than the difference between age groups, this can’t be the main explanation.
Unsurprising. But worth keeping in mind, considering liberal/pro-Navalny elites’ belated attempts to pin the anti-vaxxer label onto Putinists, after having themselves engaged in bitter anti-Sputnik propaganda in service of their foreign sponsors several months ago.
А кто-то уже делал исследование – антипрививочники, хейтеры BLM из России и свидетели того, что "с Навальным что-то не так" – это полностью пересекающиеся множества или так, процентов на 90?
— Maria Pevchikh (@pevchikh) June 17, 2021
I suppose a silver lining here is that mortality should become increasingly loaded against Putin opponents, many of whom evidently conflate their opinion with him and on anything made in Russia, and would rather get a foreign synthesized virus than take a Russian-made vaccine.