According to a report from the BBC, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin has been vaccinated against COVID-19 “partly to encourage other Russians who remain deeply reluctant to get the jab.”
However, “The Kremlin has not specified which vaccine Mr Putin received,” with Putin choosing “to be vaccinated behind closed doors.”
Earlier this week, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that “We are deliberately not saying which shot the president will get, noting that all three Russian vaccines are absolutely reliable and effective.”
“There are three Russian vaccines — Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac — with the latter two only recently gaining emergency approval,” the CNBC report added.
Despite claiming that the purpose of the immunization was “partly to encourage other Russians” to also get vaccinated, Peskov “brushed off the suggestion that showing President Putin getting a shot in the arm would help persuade the skeptical majority of Russians to follow suit.”
“As for believing the president actually had the jab, he said people would just have to ‘take our word for it,’” the BBC added.
According to the Guardian, Peskov said that “The president has already done a lot to popularize the vaccine,” and “As to being vaccinated on camera, well he has never been a fan of that, he doesn’t like that.”
“It was a peculiar description of a president who has regularly undressed on camera during summer holidays in Siberia, for a baptismal dip in an ice-cold pool in January, and even at medical checkups in the past,” the Guardian quipped.
As the BBC reported in August, “Mr Putin also said the vaccine had been given to one of his daughters, who was feeling fine despite a brief temperature increase,” after he announced that the vaccine had been approved for use.
“‘I think in this sense she took part in the experiment,’ Mr Putin said, without specifying which of his two daughters had received the vaccine. ‘After the first injection her temperature was 38 degrees, the next day 37.5, and that was it. After the second injection her temperature went up slightly, then back to normal.’”
“It is rare for President Putin to talk publicly about his daughters — named Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova in media reports — and their lives have been shrouded in secrecy,” the BBC noted.
In its latest report, the BBC wrote that “Mr Putin, who is 68 years old, initially claimed he was waiting until it had been deemed safe for the over-65s. Later he said he’d wait for autumn when his doctors could fit the COVID shot in his ‘vaccine schedule.’”
According to the BBC, “Mr Putin also told a gathering of Russian news editors that he wouldn’t be a ‘performing monkey’ and get vaccinated before the TV cameras, surprising many with his sudden camera-shyness.”
The Sputnik V vaccine was the first to be approved in Russia, and was “developed and produced entirely domestically.” According to the BMJ, interim results “indicate that the vaccine is 91.6% effective, based on its ability to prevent symptomatic infection. There were no cases of moderate or severe covid-19 in the vaccinated group at least 21 days following the first dose. Some 94% of reported side effects were very mild (grade 1). Four deaths recorded during the study were found not to be related to the vaccine.”
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