MOSCOW – Russian President Vladimir Putin said he would receive a coronavirus vaccine shot Tuesday, several months after the widespread vaccination began in Russia.
Kremlin opponents have criticized Putin for not getting the vaccine amid relatively slow spreads in Russia, arguing that his willingness fuels the already widespread laziness about the vaccine . Russia, where only 4.3% of the 146-million population has received at least one dose, lags behind several countries in terms of vaccine rates.
Putin told a meeting with government officials Monday that he will receive his bullet “tomorrow,” without specifying which of the three coronavirus vaccines approved for use in Russia will be given. According to the Russian president, 6.3 million people in Russia have already received at least one dose, and more than 4.3 million have received two doses.
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“Today we can say with confidence… that the Russian vaccines are completely reliable and safe,” Putin said. “It is a complete success of our scientists and experts.”
Despite suspicions about the rapid introduction of the vaccine, which was released before end-of-term trials were completed, the vaccine appears to be safe and effective. According to a study published in the Lancet, Sputnik V is 91% effective and appears to prevent individuals from becoming ill with COVID-19, although it is not yet clear whether the vaccine can prevent put on the spread of the disease.