RUSSIA (March 29, 2021)–Russian President VLADIMIR PUTIN suffered side effects after receiving his first dose of a Russian coronavirus vaccine.
The nation’s president, who chose to be inoculated in private on Tuesday, woke up with pain in his muscles, he revealed. The behind-closed-doors vaccination left commentators and opposition politicians puzzled. Journalist Andrey Zakharov joked on Twitter: “It was sugar in there.” Referencing a quote from Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny that Mr Putin was like a “grandpa in a bunker”, opposition politician Dmitry Gudkov wrote on Facebook: “They say that there was a vaccination in the bunker today.”
Mr Gudkov added: “But their promises sound like a joke: in total secrecy, far from the cameras, won’t say which vaccine.”
The Kremlin has not specified which vaccine Mr. Putin received. Their aim is to demonstrate that “all three Russian vaccines are absolutely reliable, very good and effective,” according to press secretary Dmitry Peskov.
Mr Putin offered an update on the procedure, speaking to state Rossiya 1 TV channel. He said: “I woke up the next morning after the vaccination and it seemed to me I felt slight pain in [my] muscles. “I took a thermometer… my temperature was normal.” Mr Peskov told reporters on Tuesday: “Putin has been vaccinated against the coronavirus.
“He feels well. Tomorrow he has a full working day.”
When questioned, Mr Peskov said journalists would have to “trust his word” that Mr Putin had been vaccinated.
He added: “The president has already done a lot to popularise the vaccine. “As to being vaccinated on camera, well he has never been a fan of that, he doesn’t like that.”
The Kremlin announced Mr Putin’s plan to be immunised against the coronavirus in December. Russia has three vaccines, the most well-known and widely-available of which is Sputnik V.
However, nearly two-thirds of Russians are not willing to receive the Sputnik V vaccine, according to March 1 data by independent pollster Levada Center.
Most respondents cited side effects as the main reason.
Russia started its vaccination campaign against the coronavirus in December. Last Monday, Mr Putin said 4.3 million out of 144 million Russians had so far received two shots of a vaccine.
Various world leaders have chosen to appear in front of cameras while being vaccinated to encourage their populations to do the same. Earlier this month, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky was pictured shirtless while being inoculated. Posting the photo on Twitter, he wrote: “Vaccine will let us live without restrictions again.”
Prime Minister Boris Johnson also posed for a camera while receiving his first dose of the Oxford/AstraZeneca jab last week.
Photo: AP News