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Ultimate Guide
COVID-19

About COVID-19

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can infect both animals and humans. Some viruses that typically infect humans are known to cause respiratory infections ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases.

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered coronavirus. More than 4 million people globally have died from COVID-19. Vaccination is a safe and effective way to prevent the disease and save lives.


How does COVID-19 spread?
By airborne droplets:
Air is a major medium of COVID-19 transmission. The novel virus is mainly transmitted through droplets generated when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks.
By airborne dust particles:
The virus can be transmitted via dust particles present in air.
Through contact:
It can also spread through everyday contact, such as shaking hands or touching shared objects and surfaces.

Symptoms of COVID-19

COVID-19 prevention tips

Avoid crowded places
Wear a disposable mask (a respirator) in public places
Avoid close contact with people who are sick
Wash your hands with soap
Sanitize your phone and other high-touch surfaces
Refrain from giving handshakes and hugs
Don’t share personal hygiene products

Vaccination

Do I need to self-isolate after a vaccination?
It’s recommended to follow safety precautions, such as maintain social distance, wear a face mask, and use antiseptic, before and after vaccination. It’s not necessary to self-isolate before and after getting a vaccine. The vaccine doesn't contain the pathogenic virus that causes COVID-19, which means that the injection itself doesn't make you infectious to others. However, getting vaccinated doesn't mean you can't catch the disease at all, so you have to still comply with all safety restrictions.


What are the possible side effects?
After you have your vaccination you might experience some side effects for a day or two. These might be short-term cold-like symptoms, such as chills, fever, arthralgia, myalgia, asthenia, malaise, or local reaction with symptoms of pain, hyperaemia, or swelling at the site of injection. Less common side effects include nausea, dyspepsia, loss of appetite, and sometimes – enlarged lymph nodes. These symptoms normally go away after 2-3 days.


Can I get suspended from work if I’m not vaccinated?
The Labor Code of the Russian Federation stipulates that an employer has the right to dismiss an employee from their work duties. According to the Federal Law No.157-ФЗ “On the Immunoprophylaxis of Infectious Diseases”, an employer is eligible to refuse to hire an employee or suspend them from work due to the lack of preventive vaccination, in case they are at high risk of contracting infectious diseases during the performance of their functions.
Do I need an antibody or PCR test before vaccination?

No, you don’t need to get tested before vaccination. Clinical trials have proved the safety and efficacy of vaccination of people who already have antibodies.


However, if you’ve recently recovered from COVID-19, you should wait for six months before getting vaccinated. During this time, a developed T-cell immunity is believed to protect you from the disease, yet you should keep taking safety precautions.


There is no need to do antibody testing after the completion of COVID-19 vaccination but if necessary, it can be performed no earlier than 42 days after the first shot.



Vaccines in Russia

Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V)
Developer:
The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Ministry of Health

Efficacy:
91.6%

Dosage:
Two doses administered within a three-week interval

Type:
Adenovirus vaccine

Routes of administration:
Intramuscular

Research:
The vaccine was registered on August 11, 2020 by the Russian Ministry of Health.The ongoing post-registration clinical trials include 33,000 volunteers. Sputnik V has demonstrated an efficacy rate of 91.6% and 91.8% in those 60 and over in the interim analysis of phase 3 clinical trials. Over 98% of volunteers developed humoral immune response and 100% cellular immune response.

Sputnik Lite
The vaccine is approved for people aged 18 to 60.

Developer:
The Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology of the Russian Ministry of Health

Efficacy:
79.4%

Dosage:
One dose

Type:
Adenovirus vaccine

Routes of administration:
Intramuscular

Research:
According to the Russian Direct Investment Fund, Sputnik Light has an efficacy rate of 79.4% (measured 28 days after vaccination). This vaccine is mainly used as a booster shot for those fully vaccinated with Sputnik V, as well as for those who have already been infected with COVID-19, to strengthen immunity against the virus while the pandemic continues.

EpiVacCorona
Developer:
The State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology VECTOR

Efficacy:
The research is still ongoing

Dosage:
Two doses administered within a three-week interval

Type: 
Peptide vaccine

Routes of administration:
Intramuscular

Research:
EpiVacCorona received a registration certificate №ЛП-006504 on October 13, 2020. To date, the vaccine has successfully finished post-registration clinical trials among 150 people over the age of 60. The ongoing study involves 3,000 volunteers above the age of 18 years who got vaccinated with EpiVacCorona at one of the eight medical centers in Moscow, Moscow Oblast, Kazan, Kaliningrad, or Tyumen. Its goal is to further explore safety and efficacy of the vaccine, as well as the nature of most common side effects. As of June 16, 2021, the research phase was complete in Kaliningrad. The vaccine’s registration certificate was amended: Vector-BiAlgam and Geropharm are named among the developers of the finished vaccines. Nearly 3,177,180 doses of the EpiVacCorona vaccine had been produced, while 2,642,690 doses were introduced into civilian circulation.

CoviVac
The vaccine is approved for people aged 18 to 60.

Developer:
Chumakov Federal Scientific Center for Research and Development of Immune-and-Biological Products of Russian Academy of Sciences

Efficacy:
Now in phase III of clinical trials

Dosage:
Two doses administered within a two-week interval

Type:
Inactivated vaccine

Routes of administration:
Intramuscular

Research:
The vaccine was approved for trial by the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation on September 25, 2020. The safety of the vaccine was tested during phase I clinical trials on 200 volunteers. No undesired side effects were identified. Phase II, meaning to prove the vaccine’s efficacy, launched in December 2020 in St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk, and Kirov, and involves 200 volunteers. The vaccine was officially registered on February 20, 2021. The first supplies of the vaccine launched on March 28, 2021. 70,000 doses had been produced by April 6, 2021. The planned production volume is 1 million doses a month. On June 6, 2021 the start of the phase III clinical trials was approved, with over 30,000 volunteers planned to take part in this phase.

Vaccination at ITMO

The vaccine available at ITMO is Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V) developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology. Vaccination takes place in two stages, with the second dose administered 21 days after the first one.

In order to protect yourself from becoming infected with COVID-19, you can get vaccinated.

For foreign citizens:
If you are an international student and want to receive the Gam-COVID-Vac (Sputnik V) vaccine, you will need to:

To schedule your appointment, you will need the following documents:
  • your passport;
  • your residence permit or permanent residency (if applicable);
  • your health insurance policy;
  • your migration registration;
  • your personal insurance policy number (SNILS; if applicable).
For more information on getting vaccinated in St. Petersburg, visit the website of the City Center for Preventive Medicine (in Russian).

ITMO mask policy
You have to put on your mask when you enter the university.
You can get a disposable mask right at the entrance, near the security desk.

FAQ

Do I have to get vaccinated?
Though many regional governments in Russia have introduced obligatory vaccination, in St. Petersburg you are only recommended to vaccinate at the moment.
I have had COVID-19 already, do I still need to get vaccinated? If yes, then when?
The amount of antibodies does not affect the time you need to get vaccinated. According to the WHO, it is important to get vaccinated timely regardless of whether or not you have antibodies and how many or little of them.
I already got vaccinated over 3 months ago, do I need to revaccinate?
During the pandemic you have to get vaccinated against coronavirus six months after you have had the disease or got your previous vaccine. After the herd immunity is reached (when 60% of Russians get vaccinated), you will have to revaccinate once a year.
Where can I obtain my vaccination certificate?
The nurses that administer your vaccine, will record your data in the vaccination register operated by the Russian Ministry of Health. After that, the vaccination information will be available in your Gosuslugi account (if you have one). At the vaccination center, you can also ask for a printed COVID-19 vaccination certificate, for a digital copy of the certificate to be sent to your email, and for your vaccine information to be put into your vaccination certificate.

Where do I find the certificate on Gosuslugi?
You can access it on the page Vaccination against COVID-19.

What do I have to do to get my digital certificate on Gosuslugi?
  • Sign up for Gosuslugi and verify your personal info. You can read more about the process here (in Russian).
  • If you already have an account, make sure that your ID/passport details and personal insurance policy number (SNILS) are correct. Fill them in, if you haven’t done it before.
  • Get vaccinated – you can sign up online. Make sure you fill in your ID/passport details and personal insurance policy number (SNILS) correctly at the vaccination center.

I didn’t get my digital certificate. What should I do?
You can file a complaint on Gosuslugi. To this complaint, you can also attach a photo of the printed certificate that you received after your vaccination.

Is there any other way to get a digital certificate?
No, that’s the only way. If someone offers you to pay money for a certificate and then upload it to Gosuslugi, then it’s a fake.
It is a criminal penalty to purchase, store, or transport a knowingly fake certificate as a document that can grant you rights or liberate you from responsibilities. Lawbreakers are charged regardless of whether or not they’d used the document and can be sentenced to up to one year of imprisonment.

If you learn that medical facilities offer to purchase fake vaccination certificates, you can leave an application at the official website of the Russian Federal Service for Surveillance in Healthcare.

Moreover, it’s important to understand that if you don’t have your vaccination-induced immunity against COVID-19, it can lead to a severe case of the disease if you get infected.

You can get the authentic certificate on your personal page on Gosuslugi.

What do I do if I am coming from an international trip?
Since July 7, 2021 everyone entering Russia from abroad has to take a PCR test for COVID-19 within three days upon their arrival and then self-isolate in their place of residence until the results of the test arrive.

You don’t have to take the test if:
  • you got vaccinated within 12 months before your arrival;
  • you had coronavirus within six months before your arrival.
You have to upload your PCR test results, your vaccination information, or a certificate stating you had coronavirus on a dedicated page on Gosuslugi (in Russian).

Here you can find the list of approved laboratories to obtain your PCR test from.



COVID-19 in the news

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Staff Support Office


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