Vaccinating Russian reindeer herders in Yamal
Islam News – The Yamal Peninsula in northwestern Siberia is one of the few remaining places on Earth where a nomadic people retain a traditional culture. On the tundra, the Nenets, an Indigenous minority in the Russian north, follow a lifestyle shaped by the seasonal migrations of the reindeer they herd.
Even in these remote areas, the pandemic’s grip can be felt. More than 100 new cases of the virus are recorded in the region every day, as well as three to five deaths, according to The New York Times.
But now vaccines are arriving, too.
Many herders pitch their chums — traditional tents somewhat resembling Native American tepees that are outfitted with electric generators and satellite dishes tuned to Russian TV stations — along a snow-covered highway. A photographer for The Times, Maxim Babenko, followed along as medical buses traveled on the highway, stopping to vaccinate willing herders.
Despite some hesitancy, more than 135,000 people in Yamal have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19, including about 56 percent of eligible adults.