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Putin opens door to ‘vaccine passports’ for international travel as growing number of Russians get Covid-19 jab

In a series of instructions to officials, published at the end of 2020, President Vladimir Putin ordered policymakers “to consider issuing certificates to people who have been vaccinated against Covid-19 infections using Russian vaccines… for the purpose of enabling citizens to travel across the borders of the Russian Federation and those of other countries.”

Russia’s Prime Minister, Mikhail Mishustin, has been charged with implementing the recommendations, and is set to report back on January 20.

The International Air Transport Association, which represents 290 airlines across the world, has supported the idea of vaccine passports, and is developing its own digital system to track who has been immunized against the virus. Passengers may be expected to present equivalent documents before being allowed to board planes in the future.

Immunizations with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, the first to be registered for the prevention of Covid-19 anywhere in the world, have been taking place in growing numbers in the capital and across the country. More than 70 centers in Moscow are now offering jabs, and at least 800,000 people have received their first dose.

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