Kremlin’s official spokesman Dmitry Peskov told the BBC why Vladimir Putin decided to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The president did not say that he would do it in autumn. He said that he needed to be in good shape in early autumn. One needs to come to this point in a way that immunity is maintained at the required level,” said Peskov.
At the same time, Peskov did not say what kind of vaccine the president intends to take. He only said that all the three currently registered vaccines “have confirmed their efficacy and the ability to create immunity.”
When asked whether Vladimir Putin should take the jab on cameras in order to encourage other people to get vaccinated as well, Peskov replied that the president devotes a significant part of his working time to events and meetings related to vaccination and vaccine production.
“As for the vaccination on cameras, well, he was never a champion, he doesn’t like it,” Peskov explained.
In response to the comment that one photo can be “more powerful than a thousand words” Peskov suggested that the meaning of words as such should not be diminished.
It is worthy of note that Putin’s recent weekend in the taiga in the company of Defence Minister Sergei Shoygu was filmed and did not cause any protest from the Kremlin.
Putin announced his decision to be vaccinated on March 22, during a meeting devoted to vaccination in Russia. The President noted that more than six million people have already received at least one jab of the Russian vaccine against coronavirus, while 4.3 million citizens have been fully vaccinated.
As for vaccination among world leaders, it was announced by:
- the head of Israel Reuven Rivlin (81),
- Queen Elizabeth II and her husband (94 and 99 years old),
- President-elect of the United States Joe Biden,
- President of Ukraine Vladimir Zelensky.
Unlike the above-mentioned personas, Russian President Vladimir Putin was in no hurry to announce his vaccination. He said in mid-December that he had not yet been vaccinated against the coronavirus, since the Sputnik V vaccine had not been approved for persons of his age. Later, when the Ministry of Health approved the use of the Sputnik V vaccine for people over 60 years old, Peskov said that Putin had decided to be vaccinated.