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Ukraine hits all-time death record amid vaccine hesitancy

Ukrainian authorities reported 224,15 new confirmed infections and 546 death in the last 24 hours, which is the highest number since the outbreak of the pandemic.

Authorities blame a rapid pace of vaccination for the spike in infections in Ukraine's 41 million population. The Ukrainian population has the option of choosing between Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. However, only 15% are fully vaccinated. This is the lowest level in Europe after Armenia.

The country has seen more than 2.7 million cases of infection and 62,389 deaths.

In the last few weeks, Ukraine has seen a steady increase in contagion. This forced the government into imposing restrictions on public access and public transport use. To board long-distance buses, trains, and planes, you must show proof of vaccination.

These restrictive measures have created a black market in counterfeit vaccination certificates. The Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zeleskyy presided over a meeting to discuss ways to stop this practice earlier this week. Police say they suspect 15 hospital workers in the country of being involved in issuing fake vaccination certificates.

The government has resisted the temptation to increase the lockdown despite the growing contagion. It is keen to prevent further economic damage from an economy that has been weakened by conflict with Russia. Russia annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. In addition, it backed a separatist insurgency within the country's eastern industrial center.

Zelenskyy stated that there are only two options: lockdown or vaccination. "I oppose the lockdown for (the) sake of the) economy."

In an effort to encourage vaccination, authorities started giving shots in shopping centers. As the number of infections rose, skeptical attitudes started to shift. In fact, a record 251,000 people were vaccinated in 24 hours.

After receiving his first dose of vaccine at a Kyiv shopping center, Denys Onuchko, 38, said that he was "frightened" by an increase in infections.

Onuchko pointed out that many Ukrainians were misinformed about vaccine conspiracy theories, but are now more rational as the situation worsens. He said that people have been scared by stories, but the real threat should make them more awake.

Vitali Klitschko, Kyiv Mayor, stated that city hospitals are experiencing an influx in patients and an increasing number of them are in grave condition.

Yulia Furman (47), who received her first vaccine shot, stated that many in her entourage believed conspiracy theories about vaccines.

She said that many of her friends believed the stories about a global plot, and are now gravely ill. It was time to protect yourself.

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