MOSCOW (AP) – Russian President Vladimir Putin was vaccinated against COVID-19 on Tuesday out of sight of cameras, his spokesman said, raising questions about whether the move will raise rates comparatively low vaccination rates in Russia.
Dmitry Peskov said Putin was feeling good after receiving the shot and was planning a regular workday on Wednesday.
He explained earlier on Tuesday that the president would take the vaccine out of public view because “when it comes to getting the vaccine on camera he never backed that up, he doesn’t like it.
Peskov did not disclose whether Putin would visit a vaccination center or whether the vaccine would be brought to his office or residence, saying only that “it will be done in a way that least affects” the schedule. Putin’s job.
Putin announced he would get the vaccine at a government meeting the day before. The statement came months after the launch of the widespread vaccination against COVID-19 in Russia. Critics in the Kremlin have argued that Putin’s reluctance to be vaccinated contributes to the already existing public reluctance about the vaccine.
Only 6.3 million people, or 4.3% of Russia’s 146 million inhabitants, have received at least one dose of a vaccine. It lags behind a number of other countries in terms of vaccination rates. Surveys by Russia’s leading independent pollster Levada Center have shown that the number of Russians reluctant to get vaccinated with the nationally developed Sputnik V vaccine has increased in recent months – to 62% in February from 58% in December.
Pressed by reporters on whether Putin should get vaccinated in front of the camera in order to increase slow vaccination rates, Peskov argued that the Russians “will hear” about the president’s vaccination and that Putin is already doing ” a lot ”to promote the vaccination campaign.
“The president… spends a fair amount of his working hours on events, discussions, meetings related to immunization, vaccine production, etc.” So the president does a lot for vaccine propaganda, ”Peskov said.
The Kremlin spokesman declined to reveal which of the three vaccines authorized for use in Russia Putin will receive, saying only that all three are “absolutely good, reliable and effective.”
Russian authorities have given regulatory approval to three plans developed in the country – Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac. All three were cleared before completing advanced testing, according to experts, necessary to ensure their safety and efficacy in accordance with established scientific protocol.
However, a recent study in the British medical journal The Lancet showed that Sputnik V is 91% effective and appears to prevent people inoculated from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, although it is still not clear whether the vaccine can prevent the spread of disease. No data on the effectiveness of the other two vaccines have been published.
Russia is actively marketing Sputnik V abroad, despite slow deployment in the country and limited production capacities. Dozens of countries have approved the use of Sputnik V and numerous agreements have been signed with the Russian Direct Investment Fund which funded the vaccine to receive vaccine shipments.
The fund said on Tuesday it had submitted a request for Sputnik V to be part of the global COVAX vaccine sharing program. The shot must first be approved by the World Health Organization, which is still reviewing data provided by Russia.
The export of vaccines has not been without delay and some have questioned whether Moscow has the capacity to keep its promises. In Russia, state media and government officials bragged about the international success of the gunfire, which took place despite initial criticism of the hasty introduction of Sputnik V.
Peskov said on Tuesday that Sputnik V was “so wanted” that the Russian production “could not keep up with the demand from abroad”.
To boost production, the Russian Direct Investment Fund has signed agreements with manufacturers in a number of countries, including India, Brazil, South Korea and more recently Italy. Putin said on Monday that the deals amounted to a total of 700 million vaccines per year.
Vladimir Isachenkov in Moscow contributed to this report.
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