President Vladimir Putin has floated the possibility of getting vaccinated against the coronavirus later in 2021, the Kommersant business daily reported Thursday, citing his closed-door meeting with journalists.
Putin, 68, has held off on receiving Russia’s domestically manufactured Covid-19 vaccine despite touting it as the world’s “best” jab and boasting of its first-in-the-world approval. His reluctance to get vaccinated has raised eyebrows amid Russia’s slow vaccination campaign compared to countries that launched theirs weeks later.
According to Kommersant’s account of the late Wednesday meeting with top Russian media editors, Putin said he is ready to get the Sputnik V shot as soon as his vaccine schedule permits.
“He has flu and pneumococcal vaccinations, so he’ll consult with the doctors when to [receive Sputnik V] because you can’t do it at the same time,” Kommersant’s Kremlin correspondent Andrei Kolesnikov said.
Putin could get the vaccine in late summer of fall “for the start of an active period where he will have to travel a lot,” Kolesnikov added, saying that two-week quarantine rules will in the meantime continue to apply for all guests that interact with him in person.
“I don’t want to monkey around,” Kolesnikov cited Putin as saying. “So I won’t do it in front of cameras.”
The Kremlin on Thursday ridiculed the barrage of leaks from Putin’s behind-closed-doors talks with the chief editors.
Late last year, Putin said he had not yet been vaccinated because it wasn’t yet recommended for members of his age group.
World leaders have been receiving Covid-19 vaccines in public to reassure members of the public of the shots’ safety.