Workers in Russia who refuse to vaccinate against Covid-19 may be forced to take unpaid leave despite the obligation for certain categories. This was announced by the Russian Minister of Labor, Anton Kotyakov, while infections in the country are increasing and the vaccination campaign is proceeding slowly.
“If the health authorities of a region make vaccination mandatory for certain categories of workers, an unvaccinated employee could be suspended,” said the minister, quoted by local media. According to Kotyakov, the suspension from work will last as long as the decree for mandatory vaccination is in effect. In the capital Moscow, this measure affects workers in the service sector. Similar rules have also been adopted in St. Petersburg, one of the headquarters of the European football championships.
Although the Covid vaccine in Russia has been available since December, only 19.5 million of the approximately 146 million have received at least one dose of the vaccine, the ‘Gogov’ website reports. In Moscow, only 1.5 million of the approximately 12 million inhabitants have been immunized. A recent independent poll found that 60% of Russians have no plans to get vaccinated.