Russia Introduces Covid Vaccine Passports

Dear Readers:

Today I review this piece from Komsomolskaya Pravda, the author is Elena Odintsova. The Russian Parliament is in the process of passing some rather strict measures designed to mitigate the Covid pandemic. In essence, this legislation amounts to the introduction of a Covid Passport. Citizens and residents of the Russian Federation will be expected to carry proof (in the form of a QR code on their smartphones) of covid vaccination. Otherwise they will not be allowed to travel on trains or airplanes. People who refuse will not be prevented from shopping for food in grocery stores, or medicines in pharmacies. (Which shows the government’s merciful side.) Once passed, this law will be in effect until June 1, 2022.

The State Duma admits these measures are “drastic” but say they are necessary due to the escalating covid crisis in Russia. The details of these measures were explained to the public on Friday (November 12) in a briefing done by Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova and Transport Minister Vitaly Saveliev. In summary, there are two main legislative proposals:

Types Of Proof Accepted

The first proposal concerns how the public visits cultural events and other types of mass gatherings; also places where people dine and shop. In order to be allowed to participate in such events, the person must possess either:

  • A QR-code proving their vaccination status; or
  • A document confirming they have actually lived through a coronavirus infection [and thus have the antibodies inside their bodies]; or
  • A medical waiver from the vaccination

There is a transitional period between now and February 1, 2022 before these measures will come into effect. If a person does not have any of the three things mentioned above, they can also show a negative PCR-test result. After February 1, however, only people with medical waivers can also show a negative PCR. As PM Golikova explained, this transitional period is put into place to give people time to get vaccinated, if they have not done so already; and to get their papers in order.

Transport Minister Saveliev explains the new restrictions.
Golikova: You have until February 1 to get your papers in order.

With these basic regulations in place, it will be left to the regional authorities to refine and implement the rules about the QR-codes and so on. Full exceptions will be made for grocery stores and pharmacies, so that even covid-disobedient people can still obtain the products they need for basic survival.

The second proposal concerns the implementation of QR-codes in planes and trains. Transport within a given urban area (I think they mean, like buses and subways) will not be affected; we are only talking about inter-city and international transport.

Passengers will be required to show:

  • Either a QR-code attesting to their covid vaccination; or
  • A medical waiver from vaccination;
  • Or proof they already had the virus infection and lived to tell the tale

Passengers in these circumstances will be asked to show their documentation while buying a ticket; and will also have to show it before being seated (in the plane or train).

It will be possible to substitute proof of a negative PCR-test during an interim period whose ending date has not yet been decided. Negative PCR-test results are currently being demanded of foreign citizens who travel through Russian space on planes or trains.

A Single Piece of Paper

Golikova also announced that the government will attempt to simply the paperwork by introducing a single “Vaccine Certificate” for each citizen, issued by the Ministry of Health. This new “Vaccine Passport” is projected to be implemented in March of 2022. Until then people will have to rely on the older, more complicated, paperwork.

The good news is that the government itself will put all of this paperwork together in an automated portal which will be maintained automatically. The citizen will not have to do anything: The moment they get a shot, for example, the information will be automatically added to their portal account.

Mishustin: can be expected to set up an efficient vaccination portal.

[yalensis comment: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin is famous for his ability to use computers and technology to streamline governmental processes such as tax collection, etc. This is one of the reasons why he got the job as PM. He is very good at this, so one can expect the Russian government public health portal to be vastly superior to, for example, the American CDC portal, which manages the covid vaccination status of American residents.]

What to do about Russian citizens who live in remote areas or have not been registered for governmental services, or who don’t have Smartphones? Don’t worry: the government thought this whole thiing through. These people will be able to order their own QR-code in one of the so-called Multi-Functional Centers of their town or region. [These places were set up as part of a series of administrative reforms 2005-2010. They provide a convenient location for residents and also businesses to have all their officials documents prepared in one single place, and to apply for governmental and municipal services.]

If you don’t have a Smartphone, you can still apply for a QR-code at the Multi-Functional Center.

None of the above applies to children or teenagers. In Russia, only 18-years and older have to get the vaccine.

Transport Minister Saveliev: “We are already starting to work with aviation and railway companies. We are working out the details how, most quickly and efficiently, to verify passenger’s medical documentation without impacting their rhythm or logistics. We don’t want to have to detain anybody as they board the flight. I don’t foresee a lot of hassles. Of course, every airplane company has its own system of security, it’s just a question of adding in the government’s medical requirement; and that’s what we are trying to figure out now.”

Deputy PM Golikova: “We are hopeful that we can reach our goal of collective immunity. The metric we are aiming for is 80% of the adult population. Although I would like to emphasize that those countries which already have implemented mass vaccination of their population, have raised that bar to 90-95%, in order to combat the spread of this epidemic.”

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6 Responses to Russia Introduces Covid Vaccine Passports

  1. Ben says:

    Literally pointless. None of the vaccines confer sterilizing immunity. They reduce the chances of the individual getting severe covid, but they do nothing to stop spread.

    Contrary to what all the libertarian morons that have come out of the woodwork in the last two years think, a plague is in fact precisely the kind of scenario where it’s potentially reasonable to curtail individual rights in the name of protecting the whole (and such measures are as old as disease itself; quarantine comes from quarantena, the Venetian practice of forced 40 day isolation of incoming travelers and ships, etc).

    But only if you have something like a silver bullet vaccine. We have no such thing. This entire debate is stupid, and the focus on vaccines is almost as much theater as the focus on hand washing and plexiglass barriers. I don’t know how the Russian public health agencies are doing, but the CDC and WHO (both of which need to be burned to the ground, and I’m not being figurative there) continue to lie about the fact that coronavirus is airborne, and mostly spread through aerosols. We’ve known this since at least March 2020, when the Washington State choir superspreader event happened.

    ‘Evidence based medicine’ has completely lost the Mandate of Heaven, but I see precious little evidence that the profession as a whole has any self-awareness on this point. Just wait until the next plague comes along; no one is going to listen to doctors or politicians.

    Like

    • yalensis says:

      It’s like you read my own mind, Ben. Watching this “Covid Theater of the Absurd”, I have come to exactly the same conclusions and agree with all of your opinions. A few points of my own to add:

      1.) Humanity has had to face many truly horrible plagues in the past. For example, with the Black Death (bubonic plague), a person could die in literally minutes after coming in contact with an infected person. Now there was a plague you could write home about. If covid actually were that, then any and all extreme measures of governments of the world, would be completely justified. But it’s not, and they’re not. If and when a REAL plague comes along, people may not pay attention, due to the “boy who cried wolf” effect.

      2.) Given that covid is such a relatively mild disease (and not discounting the suffering of the people who actually got it or died from it), but in the scheme of things it’s not actually bad enough to warrant such extreme measures in society. At a certain point it became obvious that certain governments (mostly in the European civilizational space, and including Russia) are just using this hoopla in order to increase their own totalitarian powers over the population. Why Russia decided to go this route (instead of, say, the India route) is beyond me. The Putin government is either being sincere and well-meaning, or being nefarious about this, take your pick. In India they decided not to go the oppressive route, instead the government just hands out free Ivermectin to the population (which has proved to be an effective treatment that stops the virus from replicating inside a person’s cells), and infection rates are very low, probably as a consequence of this approach. Paradoxically, the nations with the strictest measures and the highest vaccination rates, are also the countries with the highest rates of infection. It’s because they’re not focusing on treatments and cures, in my opinion. Instead, just barking up the wrong tree.

      3.) It’s fairly clear from the factual evidence that the virus is partially man-made and crafted in a lab, as part of a bio-warfare project. (Although why bio-war people would craft such a relatively harmless virus and not a real killer, is a mystery.) Here is the interesting part: Recent revelations (I can provide links if needed) reveal that none other than America’s beloved Doctor Fauci was a sponsor of this nefarious research in Wuhan. Involving the genetic modification of bat viruses as part of a project called “Gain of Function”. In other words, Fauci and his bio-war people from the U.S. government, were trying to figure out how to make a naturally occuring virus more infectious to humans. Why the Chinese government would even agree to collaborate on an American bio-war project (probably directed against Russia) is beyond me, but the most reasonable theory is, they didn’t want to be left in the dark when it came to bio-research, so they agreed to take the American money and provide them a lab to work in. [All of above might sound wacko to some people who haven’t been following this, but I have links if needed.] Then, unfortunately, the virus somehow escaped from the lab, and the rest is history.

      4.) You are absolutely correct that the covid virus is airborne. All of the vaccines crafted so far, have been “leaky” and cannot keep up with this pesky mutating airborne virus (which was engineered for “gain of function” precisely to be so cunning). A vaccinated person has extra anti-bodies which give some protection, so it is definitely worth it to the individual getting vaccinated; however a vaccinated person can still get infected and still pass it to the other person (by sneezing, for example). Therefore, the separation of society into “vaccinated” vs “un-vaccinated” makes absolutely no sense from either a medical, nor a civil-liberties point of view.

      5.) Now, I do actually, personally, believe that people should wear masks as much as possible. Since the virus is airborne, the mask provides a simple layer of protection, if you are standing next to somebody who sneezes, for example. “Social distancing” is also not a stupid idea. Me, I like to be as far away as possible from somebody who is sneezing and coughing. Hand washing and sanitizing is also a good idea. (Well, I work in a hospital, so we have been trained in that way since long before covid. Also, I have always been a bit of a germophobe, so I was not unhappy noticing other people get the message about the importance of good sanitation.) Human beings are just nasty smelly creatures, and it’s always better to be clean. Maybe the one good thing that has come from this, is that more people have learned the importance of washing themselves and keeping their houses clean. Everybody frantically cleaned their houses down to the wire, when they were told, initially, that the virus could be contacted from surface contact. Not sure that was accurate information, but it did result in some good spurts of house-cleaning worldwide!

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      • Ben says:

        I hard disagree that this is a mild illness. It’s killed at least 800,000 Americans, and at least 5 million globally (and these are absolutely significant undercounts, the real numbers are over a million for the US, and as many as 17 million globally. You have to look at the excess death rates, not the official, verified case numbers). On top of that, it’s an exceptionally nasty disease, that often leaves behind a huge amount of damage even when it doesn’t kill. It’s probably one of the worst diseases you can get in terms of its lingering effects even if it doesn’t kill you.

        I also completely disagree that governments are using this as an excuse to be totalitarians. From what I see it looks much more like they can’t wait to pretend that the pandemic is over. There is no plan, and never has been one in most countries. They’re stumbling along blindly. In their epic stupidity, and subservience to business, they’ve honed in on the delusion that vaccines are the silver bullet, and with that approach obviously failing, they’re still going to try and press forward with it and blame the vaccine hesitant for the disease becoming endemic. I suspect that propaganda strategy is about to implode epically, as everyone has vaccinated-only holiday gatherings and yet people still get infected. The proper strategy at this point would be a layered defense based on ventilation, but to do that would cost businesses a lot more than hygiene theater does.

        In fact the solution to this pandemic would have been a much stricter, totalitarian approach early on, on a global level. China (apparently, maybe they’re lying. But it would be hard to hide a huge number of deaths) virtually eliminated the virus in their borders with extreme forced isolation measures. Poor Vietnam had a hugely successful early approach based on ruthless monitoring and contact tracing, which worked for them but fell apart over time because other countries didn’t do the same thing. New Zealand adopted a strategy of bringing the hammer down for several days any time a case was found, and the end result was that they spent most of the last two years not even having to bother with masks (contrary to what internet libertarians think, New Zealanders have not spent two years in isolation. The strategy was a few days of lockdown and contact tracing any time there was a single case, and then when they were sure they’d found everyone in a particular outbreak, they ended the lockdown. It worked.). Covid could have been eradicated globally had the whole world coordinated on a true, no-one-leaves-their-houses-for-two-week lockdown back at the start of all this. A real lockdown, coupled with real contact tracing. Have the government pay everyone’s lost wages and put most of the economy in stasis. We did none of that.

        Ivermectin most likely does do something to treat covid. There’s certainly no reason not to use it even if it does nothing and is just a placebo. The campaign against this ‘horse dewormer’ is, as far as I can tell, completely without precedent in the annals of medicine. Because it isn’t dangerous snake oil. And it isn’t ‘horse paste’. It’s an anti-parasitical drug certified safe for use in humans by the FDA in 1996 Its discoverers, William Campbell and Satoshi Omura, were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in 2015 for their work on avermectin and ivermectin. It’s been used to great effect in hundreds of millions of people in Africa, where it’s been administered in the form of literally billions of doses, and where it has been key to significantly reducing the number of annual cases of Onchocerciasis (River Blindness) and Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis), as well as seen great success in other uses. It has demonstrated an incredibly robust safety record in humans stretching back thirty years. It’s given to many Africans regularly now essentially by default; there are no real concerns that it might be potentially dangerous. It’s also been discovered to have many other uses, including being a potent anti-viral. It’s literally a wonder drug and one of the safest drugs in all of medicine.

        India is a complete disaster; the body count is upwards of 4 million. While there is a clear divide between the states that use Ivermectin and those that don’t, it’s still a nightmare everywhere there.

        I disagree that this is clearly a lab created bioweapon, If it is, it’s an exceptionally poor one, compared to the other horrors that have been created in labs. I’m still vaguely open to the possibility that it escaped from a lab, but I’m like 80/20 or even 90/10 split on natural vs artificial origin. What I do find interesting is the fact that authorities and the media assured us for over a year that ‘it came from a lab’ was a crazy conspiracy theory, before finally having to concede that it’s a legitimate, though I think remote, possibility, and the media and ‘public health’ officials have only furthered shredded their credibility with their earlier denials.

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        • yalensis says:

          Hi, Ben,
          Thanks again for your insightful comments. A few points:

          (1) if covid is as deadly as you say, then maybe the governments of the world really should have cracked down from the very beginning. With the quarantines and the contact tracing, and all that jazz. But realistically, by the time anybody realized anything, the cat was already out of the bag. China may have locked down their own citizens early on, but they allowed international flights to leave from airports. All in all, it was the usual clusterf*ck.

          (2) I think we both agree that the vaccination path has not yielded the hoped-for results. I convinced myself from research that vaccinations definitely help the individual, which is why I got double-vaxxed myself, the more antibodies the better, so I am not a skeptic in that sense. But we agree that the vaccines are so leaky they could not extinguish the epidemic, so it makes no sense for governments to set up an apartheid system for vaccinated vs un-vaccinated. Realistically, once the cat was out of the bag, every human being on this planet is going to catch it, at some point. Being vaccinated and having effective treatments should help save lives.

          (3) Maybe I was wrong or mis-informed about India. I thought they were virtually covid-free, but maybe not. You clearly know what you’re talking about. On the Ivermectin situation, I saw this youtube video, which you might find interesting:

          Dr. Campbell (he’s not a medical doc, he has a phD in nursing) delves into the scientific research comparing Ivermectin as a covid treatment with the latest Pfizer drug to come out.
          The data shows that Ivermectin is more effective than Pfizer, as it attacks 6 different areas in which the coronavirus attempts to penetrate the human cell. Ivermectin is also a “repurposed” or off-the-shelf drug, like you say, which has been used to treat many other things. The beauty of it is that they can skip over all those lengthy human trials proving its safety, because they already know it’s safe. So they can jump directly to proving “efficacy”. The Pfizer people would prefer you buy their drug, though, because ivermectin is so cheap it’s practically free. Whereas the Pfizer drug, albeit effective, is also quite pricey.

          Well, you know those Pfizer CEO’s have to get their quarterly bonus, so…

          🙂

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          • Ben says:

            India was a complete disaster.

            https://www.independent.co.uk/asia/india/india-delhi-pyres-public-parks-b1838649.html

            https://www.straitstimes.com/asia/south-asia/indias-covid-19-deaths-10-times-higher-than-reported-study

            At the peak of deaths the main problem was lack of oxygen. A lot of people might have survived if they had been able to be put on oxygen to keep them alive long enough for their immune systems to turn the tide. But most Indian hospitals and clinics don’t have any central oxygen distribution system, and rely on hauling around individual air tanks. https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/06/india-covid-crisis-cases-fatalities-rise-as-oxygen-shortage-persists.html

            On Ivermectin and India: https://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2021/09/as-us-prepares-to-ban-ivermectin-for-covid-19-more-countries-in-asia-begin-using-it.html

            “It’s hard to keep track of just how many states in India continue to use ivermectin as a treatment or prophylaxis against covid-19. Three states that are definitely using it are Uttar Pradesh (population: 230 million), Goa and Bihar (population: 100 million), a copy of whose home quarantine treatment program can be seen here. So, too, is New Delhi.

            Though the usual caveats apply about numbers being under-reported due to inadequate testing, it’s clear that things have improved across India. Since the country began its last wave of infections, in March, no state has contained the virus as effectively as Uttar Pradesh, India’s most populous region with 230 million inhabitants. If it were a country, UP would be the world’s sixth most populous, sandwiched between Pakistan (5th) and Nigeria (7th). UP has been using IVM longer than any other Indian state, including as a prophylaxis for people who come in contact with the disease. The numbers (both in terms of cases and deaths) speak for themselves. The average number of cases per day over the last seven days was just 28 — in a region with a population larger than Brazil’s! Brazil’s daily average is more than 21,000 cases.

            It’s a similar story in New Delhi, where the number of new cases is also close to zero.

            Compare that to the state of Kerala, which has stopped prescribing ivermectin and other proven therapeutics and is making exhaustive use of Gilead’s largely ineffective (yet excruciatingly expensive) antiviral, remdesivir. Not only have case numbers barely declined from their mid-May peak but they are rising faster than in any other region. Despite boasting just 3% of India’s population, having one of the most advanced health systems in the country and one of the highest vaccination rates (over 50% of the population has received at least one dose), Kerala accounted for 62% of all of India’s Covid-19 cases in early August. The BBC described the region’s stubbornly high numbers as a “mystery”.”

            Remdesivir drives me crazy because it literally, verifiably, does nothing for covid (and that’s been known for over a year, even the WHO admits it doesn’t work), yet continues to be put on treatment protocols, while the harmless Ivermectin gets vilified and fearmongered about, despite Remdesivir also being significantly more dangerous a drug.

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            • yalensis says:

              Thanks for this excellent research, Ben. In that video from Dr. Campbell, I think he also mentioned that remdesivir has proven to be worse than useless for covid treatment. Anybody still prescribing remdesivir for covid TX should be sued for malpractice. If I remember correctly, Russian doctors and hospitals started desperately using it in the first phase (early 2020), but that was before they knew better.

              Meanwhile, through sheer serendipity, it was discovered, through empirical practice, that Ivermectin was an effective treatment; and then scientific double-blind placebo studies proved its effectiveness.

              Despite which, the American Federal Government in the form of the FDA (most likely knowing better and simply lying to the public) undertook an ideological campaign against Ivermectin. They accused people from the Deep South and Texas of being ignorant rednecks and gulping down “horse de-wormer”. They put out ads drawling (in a southern accent): “Y’all aren’t a horse or a cow.” I like how Dr. Campbell spoofs this in his video, when he says, in his impeccable British accent: “Y’all aren’t a horse or a cow, you’re a human being with a brain, so use it!”

              The fact is, even working-class people from the Deep South know how to do research on the internet. They learned about Ivermectin’s effectiveness. If their doctor refused to prescribe it, then they would simply buy the animal variety from a veterinarian (which doesn’t matter, because the molecules are exactly the same for people and animals, only the dosages differ), calculate the correct dosage on their own, and take it as a preventitive. That’s not dumb, it’s smart. If I ever came down with covid, first thing I would do is ask my doc for a monoclocal cocktail and ivermectin (at the correct dosage for my weight). If she refused out of political correctness (which could happen), then I would have to see if I could get it from the black market or maybe an internet deep web site. That’s just the way it is, when people are trying to survive and the government gets in their way.

              Also, I don’t want to sound like a wacky conspiracy theorist but, realistically, Pfizer already has lobbyists with every congressperson in the U.S., and also helps fund the CDC, if I am not mistaken. They also spends tons of money for ads on all the major TV channels.
              They are raking in super-profits right now, and they don’t like to see people taking something like Ivermectin, which is much cheaper! So expect the media to start touting the new Pfizer pill which, as Dr. Campbell points out, is effective, but not as effective as Ivermectin. Also, the patented Pfizer molecule only attacks one vulnerable part of the virus, so all our clever virus has to do is mutate a little bit to avoid that, and boom, it’s back in the cell!

              Like

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