Russia claims it is caring for ‘autism’s oldest victims’

Image copyright Abigail Crummy Image caption The Moscow City Government issued the warning Inquiries to Moscow’s health authorities have seen about 25,000 over-60s ordered to stay home for four months, with what the government…

Russia claims it is caring for 'autism's oldest victims'

Image copyright Abigail Crummy Image caption The Moscow City Government issued the warning

Inquiries to Moscow’s health authorities have seen about 25,000 over-60s ordered to stay home for four months, with what the government says are unfounded claims about vaccine risks.

Those to be not vaccinated must do so without a note from their doctor as Moscow fears “harmful” cancer could be caused by the vaccine.

Health authorities confirmed the decision, which was introduced earlier this month.

Moscow’s mayor and health experts say the order is temporary.

The decision was made following a public health panel called at the end of July to discuss concerns about a vaccination programme.

‘Moral duty’

The process for the elderly was under way, with many health agencies, hospitals and patients needing to be persuaded to have the shots before the urgent question was put to the health panel on how to handle cases of people who did not want to be vaccinated.

It is not clear how many people will be affected by the decision.

Image copyright Cernin Chuty/IMF Image caption A high rise block of flats has been evacuated after a man fell ill on a high floor

Moscow’s mayor, Sergei Sobyanin, says the decision was taken after the London Marathon in April, when a number of people contracted a variety of diseases in the cold temperatures of London.

A city government spokesman, Maxim Roitov, said: “Out of respect for patients with serious illnesses and in response to deaths of minors among the Great Russian Open participants, the health authorities are now undertaking an urgent precautionary measure for the men over 60 years old and no people over 70 years old who do not want to undergo vaccinations.”

Mr Roitov says those affected will be offered help.

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