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Russia may vaccinate Euro 2020 staff against COVID

Russia may vaccinate Euro 2020 staff against COVID

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ST PETERSBURG – Russia is considering whether to vaccinate staff working at European Championship football matches in St Petersburg this year against COVID-19, the head of the local organising committee said on Thursday.

St Petersburg is set to host four matches, including a quarter-final, at the 24-nation tournament kicking off in June after it was postponed by a year because of the pandemic.

Russia has rolled out a mass vaccination programme, but its Sputnik V shot has not been made mandatory.

Asked whether personnel working at the tournament in June and July in St Petersburg would be required to be vaccinated, local organising committee head Alexei Sorokin replied: “We are thinking about it.”

“This (vaccine) is done on a voluntary basis now,” he said, adding that the committee would consult with Russian authorities before making a decision on the matter.

Andreas Schar, chief of venue operations at UEFA, European football’s governing body, said Euro 2020 would go ahead despite the pandemic.

“At the moment we are planning and we are very confident that we can deliver the event with the 12 host cities which have been appointed,” he told reporters in St Petersburg on Thursday.

Russia has vaccinated 2.2 million people against COVID-19 with its Sputnik V vaccine, of which more than 1.7 million people received both doses, the shot’s developers said this week.

Russia has recorded more than 4 million cases of COVID-19 and nearly 79 000 deaths since the start of the pandemic. (Reuters)