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Thu Jan 28, 2021, 12:36 PM

Daily Beast: Top Kremlin Diplomat Says 'Nyet' to Russian Vaccine

What is fascinating is the degree to which Russian disinformation looks like Republican, QAnon talking points. Given that Russia "approved" a vaccine months before the U.S., it is interesting that it is not more widely distributed. Indeed, if it had good results, then Russia would not only be immunizing its own citizens, but you would expect Russia to start sharing the vaccine as a means of diplomacy.


TALLINN—Russian state media has branded the Pfizer vaccine for coronavirus the “shot of death,” but one Russian diplomat is willing to take his chances. Yuri Gribkov, Moscow’s outgoing consul general to Estonia, was seen leaving the Ida-Viru Central Hospital Wednesday, having just secretly received the second dose of the American pharmaceutical giant’s inoculant.

Gribkov admitted on camera to The Daily Beast and Estonia’s Delfi that he was taking the Pfizer vaccine, even though his government has mounted an extensive disinformation campaign intended to suggest it is ineffective, dangerous or even lethal, especially when compared with Russia’s own Sputnik V vaccine.

Gribkov is due to complete his posting in Narva and return to Russia next week. But he said he didn’t want to wait to receive his native country’s drug and was acting on advice from his Estonian physician, who diagnosed him with “very weak lungs.”

He also apparently pushed to the front of the vaccine line in a country that is struggling to inoculate its frontline healthcare workers.

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