Progress on vaccination of CSO workers in Moscow

Progress on vaccination of CSO workers in Moscow

14 July 2021

Moscow NGOs (CSOs) have been organising vaccination campaigns to meet the Chief Medical Officer’s target to immunise 60% of the workforce.

On 16 June, Elena Andreeva, Moscow’s Chief Medical Officer, signed an order on mandatory vaccination of 60% of employees. This order likewise applies to Moscow residents working in social protection and social services.

Vaccination is required for full-time staff, as well as for workers with civil law contracts, including one-off contractors.

In favour of vaccination

The Shagi (Steps) fund to fight against HIV/AIDS has supported vaccination from the very beginning. According to Kirill Barskii, the fund’s programme leader, the organisation has already vaccinated over half of its employees and volunteers, including those on civil law contracts.

Several people have medical exemptions but don’t yet know how to process the QR-codes. The 60% vaccination target has already been met by the Lavka radostei (The Shop of Joy) fund. What’s more, half of Lavka’s staff had already received the jab before management issued the request.

In total, the fund employs 17 people, most of whom work remotely. One employee is under a civil law contract, and they received the vaccine in May 2021.

“Many view it positively, although there has been some negative feedback. I think it’s because we live in a free country and it’s ended up being forced upon us. But we understand it’s a necessary measure, you have to be mindful of people around you and not just yourself,” says Ivanna Komarova, the fund’s administrative director.

…but against it being mandatory

There are 15 employees in the international CSO Doctor Liza’s Fair Care, 13 of whom have QR-codes: seven fell ill, while six were vaccinated.

Olga Demicheva, president of Doctor Liza’s Fair Care, told ASI that no one had been forced to be vaccinated. Doctors work at the fund and employees are free to direct any questions to them. Moreover, workers on civil law contracts were consulted regarding vaccinations: they had all received one already.

“I’m a doctor myself and I’m undoubtedly in favour of voluntary vaccinations. It’s better to discuss things with people than to just give them orders. Several people who came to see me said: “I wanted the vaccination, but because of the campaign I’ve started to have doubts”. This is precisely what we don’t want to see happen,” replies Demicheva.

The director of a large non-profit organisation told ASI in confidence that they don’t understand why the vaccination programme has been extended to remote workers and those on civil law contracts.

In addition, the director thinks that the list of illnesses which can be used as medical exemptions is incomplete. They also remarked that some employees may not trust the vaccine.

“In general, relationships between employees in CSOs are slightly different from those in businesses, they’re more friendly. And here you have a director saying: up till now we were friends, but now you’re going to do what I say, otherwise you’ll be dismissed from work or fired. It creates a negative working atmosphere,” said the CSO director.


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