Russian President Vladimir Putin said he was to receive his coronavirus vaccine jab on Tuesday, months after his country started its inoculation campaign.
“By the way, I intend to do it myself tomorrow,” the president said on Monday during a video conference. Putin did not, however, reveal which vaccine would be administered to him.
According to the state news agency Tass, his spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Putin would receive one of the three Russian vaccines available: the internationally known Sputnik V, as well as EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.
All three are effective and reliable, Peskov said.
For months, the 68-year-old Putin had repeatedly left open when he would be vaccinated. Sputnik V has been on the Russian market for more than half a year, but has only been approved for people over 60 since the end of December.
According to Putin, only 4.3 million people in Russia have been vaccinated – just under 3 per cent of the population. Some 6.3 million people have received the first of the two necessary jabs.
Many people have hesitated because Putin did not get vaccinated himself, although he had touted Sputnik V as the world’s best vaccine.
Many Russians do not trust that the Russian-developed vaccines have been tested sufficiently.
Health Minister Mikhail Murashko said about 30 million Russians should be vaccinated by the middle of the year.
According to Putin, the demand for Sputnik V from abroad is high. Moscow claims the vaccine is now registered in 55 countries, 10 countries and 20 manufacturers are seeking cooperation with Russia.
On Monday, another agreement for the manufacturing of Sputnik V in India was reportedly sealed with a scope of producing 200 million vaccine doses per year.