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Russian charities launch initiative to vaccinate the homeless

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By Euronews with AP
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An healthcare worker administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Saint Petersburg, as Russia launched a mass vaccination campaign for homeless people.
An healthcare worker administers a dose of COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre in Saint Petersburg, as Russia launched a mass vaccination campaign for homeless people.   -   Copyright  OLGA MALTSEVA / AFP
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Two charities in St Petersburg have started vaccinating homeless people who are unable to get access to COVID-19 jabs because they lack official documents.

Dozens of homeless people staying at shelters and sleeping on the streets have been inoculated with the single-dose Sputnik V Light.

"This initiative is led by volunteers from the organisation called 'Charitable Hospital'. It's mainly the efforts of one small charity," Natalya Shavlokhova, programming director at Nochlezhka charity, said.

A man who just got his first dose said getting the vaccine will help prevent other people getting infected. He believes everyone should get vaccinated as the pandemic goes on.

St Petersburg has over 100 vaccination centres, but only Russian citizens with national IDs and a health insurance certificate can have access to them.

Out of the 60,000 homeless people living in the city, most don't have the necessary documentation.

Uptake of the vaccine has been low in Russia with less than 20% of the population being fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and only 27% having received at least one dose.

Nearly 800 people lost their lives to the coronavirus on Thursday as the virus continues to spread quickly.

Watch the full video report in the player above.