Vladimir Putin says he will get vaccinated against coronavirus on Tuesday

‘Vaccination, of course, is a voluntary decision for every person,’ said the Russian leader

Zoe Tidman
Monday 22 March 2021 18:29 GMT
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The Russian president has faced criticism for not having been vaccinated months into country’s rollout
The Russian president has faced criticism for not having been vaccinated months into country’s rollout (SPUTNIK/AFP via Getty Images)

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Vladimir Putin has said he will be vaccinated against coronavirus on Tuesday, amid Russia’s rollout of the jab.

The Russian president told a televised government meeting on Monday he would receive his shot “tomorrow” - but did not say which jab.

His spokesperson refused to say which vaccine Mr Putin will receive out of the three authorised for use in Russia.

“All of them are good and reliable,” Dmitry Peskov, Mr Putin’s spokesperson, said.

Kremlin opponents have criticised Mr Putin for not getting vaccinated amid a comparatively slow rollout of the shot in Russia, arguing that his reluctance is contributing to the already extensive hesitance about the vaccine.

Only just over four per cent of the country’s population has received at least their first dose to date.

On Monday, Mr Putin told the government meeting on Russian coronavirus vaccines: “Vaccination, of course, is a voluntary decision for every person. It is every person’s personal decision.”

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

A Kremlin spokesperson said in December Mr Putin had made the decision to get vaccinated and was “waiting until all formalities are completed”.

The main vaccine publicly available in Russia is its Sputnik V, which it is promoting for export.

Moscow has also given emergency approval to two other domestic vaccines, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.

Last month, interim trial results showed the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine to be 91.6 per cent effective in preventing symptomatic Covid-19.

The European Medicines Agency (EMA), whose representatives are set to visit Russia next month, launched a rolling review into the Russian jab earlier this month.

On Monday, Mr Putin hit back at a European Union official who said its members had no need for the Sputnik V vaccine, saying it was a “strange statement” and suggesting it was at odds with EU citizens’ interests.

Additional reporting by agencies

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