The country’s total population of 33.6million Russians (or 23% of its population) has received at least one dose of the coronavirus vaccine.

Tatyana Golikova (Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister) said that approximately 22.6 million people, or 15%, had been fully vaccinated in Russia.

Golikova states that vaccinations have almost doubled in recent years. The coronavirus taskforce reported 23704 new infections on Wednesday and 783 deaths.

As coronavirus cases have risen in Russia, the Russian authorities have been struggling to increase vaccine uptake. Russia’s daily cases increased more than twice, from 9,000 in June to more that 25,000 by mid-July.

In response to the rising number of infections and deaths, Russian officials made mandatory vaccinations for certain groups in over 30 Russian regions, including those who work in the health care sector or education.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, stated last month that he does not support the mandated shots. However, officials on Wednesday urged him to increase the immunization drive and convince people that vaccines are essential.

Putin stated, “It shouldn’t be imposed on people, but you have to explain.”

Russia’s state coronavirus taskforce has reported over 6 million coronavirus cases, and 150,705 deaths from the pandemic. Rosstat, Russia’s statistical service, suggests that the number is much higher.

Keir Starmer is the leader of Britain’s main opposition Labour Party. He was recently forced to self-isolate having come into contact with someone who had tested positive for coronavirus.

Starmer’s spokesperson said that one of his children had tested positive for the virus at lunchtime, hours after Starmer tested negative. Starmer will enter quarantine for the fourth time since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Starmer had accused Boris Johnson, Conservative Prime Minister, of trying to avoid the self-solation rules. Johnson denied this accusation.