Vladimir Putin to get Covid vaccine today – and urges Russians to follow suit

Russian president Vladimir Putin will get a coronavirus vaccine injection today.

Putin announced he would get the jab during a televised meeting about the Covid-19 pandemic yesterday, but refused to say which of the Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona ot CoviVac vaccines he would take.

The statement comes amid a push by authorities to encourage more Russians to get immunised.

Speaking at the meeting, Putin also urged his fellow countryman to join him in getting the voluntary injection.

“Vaccination, of course, is a voluntary decision for every person. It is every person’s personal decision,” he said.

"By the way, I plan to do this tomorrow."

He added that Russia must increase production for domestic use. To date, just 4.3million Russians have had both doses of the vaccine.

Putin also revealed Russia had agreed international deals to export enough Sputnik V doses to immunise 700m people.

"Today we can say confidently – and practice indisputably confirms – that Russian vaccines are absolutely reliable and safe,” he said.

“No other similar foreign drugs have shown such a high level of protection.”

Last month, scientists claimed Sputnik V had an almost 92% efficacy in fighting Covid-19, based on peer-reviewed late-stage trial results published in the Lancet medical journal.

Rosstat, the Russian statistics agency, said more than 200,000 Russians had died of Covid-19 by the end of January this year – the world’s third highest death toll behind the US and Brazil.

Government figures, however, claim the death rate is much lower.

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