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Russian vaccine tourism catches on after Sputnik V hits WHO snag By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO. An employee holds an infusion of Sputnik at Hankook Korus Pharm’s Chuncheon factory, South Korea, September 10, 2021. REUTERS/Heo Ran

MOSCOW (Reuters) – Russian travel agencies are selling package tours for Russians to receive foreign COVID-19 vaccines abroad amid frustration among some Russians that their domestically produced vaccines have not been approved internationally.

Russia has not approved any of the foreign-made vaccinations. Four vaccines, including Sputnik V, have been approved for use by Russia.

Sputnik V has been approved by the WHO until it is inspected again at a facility that fails a good practice inspection, according to the Pan American Health Organization on September 15.

According to Maya Lomidze (director of Russia’s Association of Tour Operators), the demand in Russia has increased for foreign vaccinations.

The majority of these trips cost between 600 and 850 euros. One firm offered Germany as an option. They allow customers to receive one of four different vaccines, including the one developed with Pfizer (NYSE:), ATOR said in a statement.

Travellers who choose to travel with a two-dose vaccine must book at least two trips.

Russian Express’ PR Director Anna Filatovskaya stated that Pfizer shots were being chosen by clients most frequently.

Its package tours offered return flights via Aeroflot and two to three nights at a Belgrade hotel, as well as breakfast, travel to a clinic, and a trip. She said that the vaccine is not required, but clients can register with the agency to get it.

These tours were first offered two weeks ago. In that period, there were approximately 20 applicants.

She said that Wednesday’s reports by local media about the availability of these tours triggered a spike in demand.

According to her, “This sparked wild demand.” According to her, 17 people had submitted applications for vaccination trips on Wednesday.

Ivetta Verdiyan was the marketing director at another agency. She said that most of their tours are being used by Russians traveling for business purposes or who have children studying abroad.

Maria, who is a Moscow resident said that she traveled abroad to be vaccinated this summer, but she didn’t use any of the tours.

“I trust Sputnik – but it is not recognised outside of Russia. She declined to reveal her family’s name, but she stated that travel rules around the globe require me to have an international certificate in order to be able to travel for work.

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