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Russians have been told to abstain from sex for at least three days after getting vaccinated against Covid.
Dr Denis Graifer, deputy health minister for the Saratov region, said Russian should abstain from ‘increased physical stress’ after being jabbed – including sex.
It comes after Russian were also told to avoid vodka, smoking and visits to the sauna immediately after getting their inoculations.
Russia has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the world, with just 13 per cent of the country fully immunized compared to a European average of 30 per cent.
‘I believe, and everyone knows this, too, that sex is a very energy-consuming activity,’ Dr Graifer told a press conference.
‘So we warn people who have been vaccinated that increased physical activity, including having sex, is not recommended after vaccination.’
Graifer, 38, is a married father of two, and has been vaccinated.
Russia is using its home-grown Sputnik V vaccine for its roll-out, a two-dose adenovirus jab similar to AstraZeneca’s shot.
While the vaccine has yet to gain approval from international health bodies such as the WHO and European Medicines Agency, data gathered from 47 countries where it is in use suggests it is highly effective at stopping severe cases of the virus.
However, take-up in Russia has been low, thanks in part to mistrust of the government and mis-management of the programme.
Graifer – a qualified doctor as well as a politician – was criticised on the Russian state media by a senior medical official who dismissed him as a ‘young colleague’ who had gone over the top with his sex ban.
‘You can do it, just do it with caution,’ said his boss Oleg Kostin referring to sex after vaccines. Russians should ‘have common sense and not overdo it,’ he urged.
Russia is currently in the midst of a third wave of Covid that is thought to be driven by spread of the Delta or Indian variant, which is more transmissible than earlier forms of the virus.
On Friday, the country announced more than 25,000 cases of the disease – the highest total yet in the third wave and approaching the all-time highs of 28,000 cases which occurred over the winter.
Russia also reported more than 700 deaths from the virus, the highest total yet and a strong indication that cases are being under-counted.
This comes as Moscow has been criticised in The Economist for its Covid-19 response.
‘Hundreds of thousands are dead, partly thanks to the Kremlin’s incompetence,’ said the newspaper.
‘Russia is in the midst of its third and most severe wave of Covid-19, with more people dying daily than at any point during the pandemic.
‘The number of new daily cases is currently around 25,000, somewhat fewer than in Britain, and rising.
‘But whereas in Britain this surge has translated into an average of 18 daily deaths over the past week, in Russia it has resulted in an average of 670 deaths a day.
‘The contrast is all the more striking because Russia was the first country in the world to approve a working vaccine, one based on the same science as the British-Swedish AstraZeneca one and apparently just as effective.
‘But whereas in Britain 78% of the population has received at least one jab, in Russia the proportion is only 20%.
‘The difference is not the availability or the efficacy of the jab, but people’s trust in the government and its vaccines.’
Putin’s government had ‘other priorities’ like jailing his political foe Alexei Navalny and banning street protests, claimed the report.
The official Covid-19 death toll is 141,501 although critics say the true figure is higher.
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