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Thursday, October 14, 2021

Kremlin Won’t Disclose Which Covid-19 Vaccine Putin Will Receive Today

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The Kremlin said it will not disclose the name of the Russian-made vaccine which President Vladimir Putin will receive later on Tuesday, as the Russian leader plans to deviate from the norm established by several other world leaders by choosing not to get inoculated in front of a camera.

Key Facts

Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said the decision not to disclose the name of the shot was a deliberate one as it believes all three Russian-made vaccines are “absolutely reliable and effective,” Reuters reported.

Peskov confirmed that Putin will get vaccinated on Tuesday evening and would receive one of the three Russian made shots that have been approved for use in the country—Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona or CoviVac.

Peskov also added that Putin did not like the idea of being vaccinated on camera, something several world leaders like U.S. President Joe Biden, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu have done in an effort to increase public confidence in the vaccines.

Key Background

Russia approved its first vaccine, the Sputnik V, back in August even before large scale trials had been completed. The hasty approval led to concerns from scientists, however analysis of Phase 3 trials have since shown it to be safe and 92% effective in preventing Covid-19. While announcing the Sputnik vaccine in August, Putin disclosed that one of his daughters had received the shot. The Sputnik vaccine has since been rolled out in several countries outside Russia including Argentina, Belarus, Hungary, Serbia and the United Arab Emirates. EpiVacCorona was approved in October last year and CoviVac was approved last month, however, details about their effectiveness are very sparse. Rospotrebnadzor, which overlooks ‘human wellbeing’ and is part of the Russian health ministry, claims EpiVacCorona has an efficacy of 100%, but unlike Sputnik V this is not backed by any published trial data.

Big Number

10,600,000. That is the total number of Covid-19 vaccine doses Russia has administered so far, according to a tracker run by Bloomberg. That only covers 3.6% of the country’s total population, and is significantly lower than the U.S. which has administered at least one dose to almost 25% of its population despite approving its vaccines several months later.

Further Reading

Name of vaccine Russia’s Vladimir Putin to take will be a secret, says Kremlin (Reuters)

Russia’s Sputnik V Vaccine Is 92% Effective Against Symptomatic Covid-19, Early Results Show, But There Are No Plans To Bring It To The U.S. (Forbes)

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