Zenit's vaccine programme began ahead of their Russian Premier League game versus Akhmat Grozny; the club's average attendance this season has surpassed 17,000 with more fans allowed into stadiums in Russia than in most other European nations
Saturday 13 March 2021 14:58, UK
Zenit St Petersburg are offering free Covid-19 vaccines to supporters attending their home matches for the rest of the season.
The reigning Russian Premier League champions have offered to inoculate all visitors to the Gazprom Arena who are over the age of 18 with the Sputnik V vaccine.
The mobile vaccination centre at the club was in operation two hours prior to kick-off ahead of Zenit's match against Akhmat Grozny on Saturday.
The programme is set to remain in place until their final top-flight home game of the season against Lokomotiv Moscow on May 2.
Supporters have been told to bring their passports and national health cards and are required to be seen by a medical professional for approval before their vaccinations are administered.
"The SputnikV vaccination programme is well underway here at the Gazprom Arena," a post on the club's Twitter account read.
"We'll be offering free vaccinations to supporters at every one of our home games for the rest of the season!"
Russia's Sputnik V vaccine is estimated to be around 91.6 per cent effective against coronavirus when two doses are given, while recent trials have demonstrated that the inoculation performs well against new Covid-19 mutations.
The country's death toll from the virus stands at over 89,700.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, a larger number of supporters have been permitted to attend matches in the Russian top-flight compared with other European leagues.
On average, 17,094 fans have watched Zenit's home games so far this season. 10,860 supporters were in attendance for Zenit's 2-1 defeat at home to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League group stage last December.
Zenit, who count former Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren and ex-Chelsea left-back Yuri Zhirkov among their current players, are top of the Russian Premier League with eight games remaining this season.
Meanwhile, UEFA medical advisor Dr Daniel Koch has said that supporters could yet be allowed to travel for matches at this summer's rescheduled Euro 2020. European football's governing body has said a decision will be made in early April concerning the suitability of venues and planned capacities.
Some Olympic and Paralympic athletes are to be offered a vaccine by the Chinese Olympic Committee before this summer's Tokyo Games which begin on July 23, while Ferrari have accepted an offer from Bahrain GP organisers to vaccinate team members attending this year's pre-season testing and the opening Grand Prix.