Vladimir Putin announced that he had received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and urged Russians to do the same
Russian President Vladimir Putin announced that he had received the second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and urged Russians to do the same. During a televised meeting, he said, “I want to inform you that right now, before entering this room, I also received the second vaccination.”
“I hope that you will do the same and follow my example in taking care of yourself and your loved ones,” he said.
The 68-year-old got his first dose in private on March 23, refusing to reveal which of Russia’s three vaccines he had received: Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, or CoviVac.
In late March, he urged Russians to get vaccinated against the virus, claiming that once 70 percent of adults had been vaccinated, the country would be able to stop all steps aimed at limiting the virus’s spread. By the end of the summer, he expected, it will happen.
He said at the time that 6.3 million people out of the country’s 144 million had received their first dose of vaccine. Despite starting its vaccination program earlier than other countries in early December, Russia has failed to inoculate its people.
Many Russians are skeptical of the vaccine, with less than a third eager to get inoculated, according to a recent survey. Despite being one of the hardest hit by Covid-19, Russia has lifted almost all of its pandemic restrictions, with health authorities claiming that the worst of the epidemic has passed.
However, infections in Moscow, the epicenter of Russia’s epidemic, have recently begun to rise again, prompting authorities to suspend most flights to Turkey on Monday, citing an increase in cases there. As of Wednesday, the virus had caused more than 4.6 million infections and 104,000 deaths, according to health officials.