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Putin reveals he had the Sputnik Covid shot as Russia struggles with its vaccine uptake

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that he had received the Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine, as the Kremlin struggles to convince a skeptical public about the benefits of inoculation. “I thought that I needed to be protected as long as possible. So I chose to be vaccinated with Sputnik V. The military is getting vaccinated with Sputnik V, and after all I’m the commander-in-chief,” Putin said during his annual phone-in session where the public submit questions to the president.

“After the first shot, I didn’t feel anything at all. About four hours later, there was some tenderness where I had the shot. I did the second [shot] at midday. At midnight, I measured my temperature. It was 37.2 [Celsius]. I went to sleep, woke up and my temperature was 36.6. That was it,” Putin said in comments translated by Reuters. Putin had previously refused to say which Covid vaccine he received in March and the Kremlin said it would keep the information a “secret.” Putin was not filmed or photographed receiving the shot prompting speculation among the Russian public and international press that he didn’t receive a Russian vaccine at all.

Doubts over Putin’s vaccine status have not helped to allay a seeming reluctance among Russians to get a Covid vaccination, despite incentives for older people to get the shot. Russia has authorized four home-grown vaccines for use now and was the first country in the world to approve a coronavirus shot, Sputnik V (its most well-known vaccine) last August.

Our World in Data figures suggest that 15% of Russia’s population has received one dose with 12% having had their second dose. Putin’s comments come as Russia struggles to contain Covid and the delta variant surges in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Last Friday, Russia’s coronavirus task force reported 20,393 new Covid cases, the most confirmed in a single day since Jan. 24, according to Reuters. The figures included 7,916 new infections in Moscow. Russia has recorded almost 5.5 million cases since the start of the pandemic.

Putin reveals he had the Sputnik Covid shot as Russia struggles with its vaccine uptake, CNBC, Jun 30

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