International

Russian teachers petition against vaccine

In Russia more than 1,450 people have signed an online petition set up by the Uchitel teachers’ union against any compulsory vaccination of teachers.

The government says it wants teachers and health workers to get the new Russian coronavirus vaccine first. Vaccination will be voluntary, it insists, in line with Russian law.

Uchitel’s petition to the government, on the Change.org campaign website, warns that teachers may be pressurised into having the vaccine either threatened with dismissal or a pay cut. So it urges them to say no.

The union says Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine has not yet had an essential Phase Three clinical trial, involving thousands of volunteers.

So mass vaccination is still too risky, it is argued.

Results published on Friday from two small clinical trials pointed to the vaccine triggering antibodies safely.

Russia plans to launch Phase Three trials this week.