Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin ordered mandatory vaccinations for residents of the Russian capital working in the service industry, citing a “dramatic” rise in coronavirus infections.
He wrote in a blog post, “We simply must do everything to carry out mass vaccinations in the shortest possible time and stop this terrible disease, stop the deaths of thousands of people.”
Health officials in Moscow have in recent weeks reported a steady rise in the number of new Covid-19 cases, mirroring a trend across Russia.
The country has the sixth-highest caseload in the world, but President Vladimir Putin has repeatedly claimed Russia handled the pandemic better than most other countries.
The increase in cases comes as authorities struggle to encourage Russians to get vaccinated, even though the country launched a mass campaign of free jabs in December.
Just 1.8 million residents had been inoculated in the city of 12 million.