MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin will hold his first vaccination against COVID-19 on Tuesday, but out of sight of his cameras, his spokesman said, raising questions about whether the gesture would boost Russia’s relatively low vaccination rate.
Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “when it comes to being vaccinated with a camera, he has never supported it, he does not like it.”
Peskov will not say whether Putin will go to a vaccination facility or be shot in his office or residence, saying only that “it will be done in a way that does not affect Putin’s work schedule in the slightest.”
Putin announced that he would be vaccinated the day before at a government meeting. The announcement came months after widespread immunization against COVID-19 in Russia. Kremlin critics say Putin’s reluctance to get vaccinated has fueled doubts about the vaccine.
Only 6.3 million people, or 4.3 percent of Russia’s population of 146 million, have received at least one dose of the vaccine. It lags behind a number of other countries in terms of vaccines. Research by the Levada Center for Independent Research in Russia has shown that in recent months the number of Russians who do not want to be vaccinated with a domestic Sputnik V shot has increased. 62% in February and 58% in December.
Under pressure from reporters, Putin should be vaccinated with a camera to speed up the slow pace of vaccinations, Peskov said, adding that the Russians would “hear” about the president’s vaccinations. “Putin is already doing a lot to boost the vaccination campaign.”
“During his working hours, the President devotes considerable time to events, discussions, vaccinations, vaccine production, etc. “So the president is doing a lot to promote the vaccines,” Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman declined to say which of the three vaccines authorized for use in Russia would be given to Putin, saying only that all three were “absolutely good, reliable and effective.”
Russian authorities have confirmed the settlement of three domestic shootings – Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac. All three were licensed before the advanced trials were completed, and experts say they are needed to ensure their safety and effectiveness in accordance with the approved scientific protocol.
However, a recent study in the British medical journal Lancet found that Sputnik V is 91% effective և seems to prevent people with the COVID-19 vaccine, although it is not yet clear whether the vaccine can prevent the disease. Distribution: No data have been released on the effectiveness of the other two vaccines.
Russia is actively selling Sputnik V abroad, despite its slow spread at home and limited production capacity. Dozens of countries have approved the use of Sputnik V, and many have entered into deals with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, which has provided a vaccine for shotguns.
The foundation said on Tuesday it had submitted a request to Sputnik V as part of a global COVAX vaccine distribution scheme. First of all, it is necessary to approve the World Health Organization, which is still in the process of reviewing the data provided by Russia.
Vaccine exports have not been delayed, with some questioning whether Moscow has been able to deliver on its promises. In Russia, state media և state officials boasted of the international success of the shooting, which came despite initial criticism of Sputnik V’s hasty introduction.
Peskov said on Tuesday that Sputnik V was “so sought after” that Russian production “could not meet demand from abroad.”
To boost production, the Russian Direct Investment Fund has signed contracts with producers in a number of countries, including India, Brazil, South Korea and most recently Italy. Putin said on Monday that such agreements amount to a total of 700 million vaccines a year.