Vladimir Putin has REFUSED to get the Sputnik V Covid vaccine

Vladimir Putin has REFUSED to get the Sputnik V Covid vaccine and only said he ‘could’ get the jab later this year – insisting he won’t ‘monkey around doing it in front of cameras’

  • Putin rejected suggestions he should get the vaccine now to boost public takeup
  • He said he might get the Sputnik V vaccine at the end of summer or early autumn
  • The Russian president has boasted about the effectiveness of the Sputnik jab 

Vladimir Putin is in no hurry to get the Sputnik V vaccine despite bragging about the effectiveness of the Russian jab, saying merely that he ‘could’ get it later this year.  

The Russian president, 68, rejected suggestions he should get the vaccine immediately to encourage public takeup, telling journalists that ‘I don’t want to monkey around’ in front of cameras. 

He added that he might get the vaccine in the late summer or early autumn, according to Kommersant, many months after it was approved for over-60s by the Russian health ministry. 

Putin drew criticism for declaring the vaccine safe and effective last August, when clinical trials were incomplete – but the belated results published earlier this month showed it to be 92 per cent effective. 

Vladimir Putin, pictured, has played down the urgency of getting the Sputnik V jab despite boasting about the effectiveness of the Russian-made shot 

Moscow last week savoured a scientific and political success after the trial results published in The Lancet dispelled many Western doubts about the vaccine.   

But explaining his lack of urgency to get the Sputnik jab, Putin said he had a schedule of flu shots and other vaccinations which could not be done at the same time. 

He said he would consult with his doctor and could get the shot ahead of an ‘active period’ later in 2021 which he says will require him to travel more. 

At the moment, anyone looking to meet Putin in person has to quarantine for two weeks beforehand, according to Russian media. 

Putin’s office has also spoken of special disinfection tunnels that anyone visiting his residence outside Moscow or meeting him in the Kremlin must pass through. 

The Russian president said last August that one of his daughters volunteered to get the Sputnik jab before it was fully tested, saying she had felt good afterwards. 

‘I know that it works quite effectively, forms strong immunity, and I repeat, it has passed all the necessary checks,’ Putin said at the time. 

The head of the Gamaleya research centre that developed the jab boasted of having taken an experimental version as early as last spring. 

Two women receive a shot of the Sputnik V vaccine at a shopping centre in Moscow earlier this month

Two women receive a shot of the Sputnik V vaccine at a shopping centre in Moscow earlier this month 

It came after Putin ordered Russia’s scientific and military apparatus into overdrive to win the vaccine race, with even the name evoking Soviet technological triumphs in the early space race.

Putin declared Sputnik V the world’s first registered vaccine in August, but the premature approval and limited data meant it was widely ignored in the West.  

But Kremlin spokesman said last week that the trial results justified Russia’s decision to jump ahead and approve the vaccine early.  

The 91.6 per cent efficacy rate even fuelled talk of Sputnik V being used by the EU, which has been widely criticised for its slow pace of vaccinations so far.   

The Sputnik jab was made available to the wider Russian population in December, and has been approved in more than 15 other countries. 

These include ex-Soviet republics such as Belarus and Armenia, allies like Iran and Venezuela, but also Argentina, Algeria, Tunisia and Pakistan. 

Peskov said last week that Russia was working to further boost production of the vaccine in foreign nations.

‘The number of countries that register this vaccine at home is increasing every day,’ he said. ‘We are very active in responding to enquiries from various countries asking for the supply of this vaccine.’

The two-dose jab uses adapted strains of the adenovirus, the same type of virus which is the basis of the Oxford/AstraZeneca product.     


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