MOSCOW (AP) – Chairman Vladimir Putin on Wednesdays he has taken an experimental nasal vaccine against the coronavirus, three days later he received his booster shot.
Russia is facing its worst increase in infections and deaths since the pandemic began and is struggling to overcome the widespread vaccination activity.
Putin vaccinated with Sputnik V, Russias domestically developed covid-19 vaccine, in the spring. On Sunday, he sa he got a booster shot of Sputnik Light, the single-dose version of jab, and said he wanted to be part of testing the nasal version of Sputnik V.
Denis Logunov, Deputy Director of Russias state-funded Gamaleya Center, which developed Sputnik V, said Putin on Sunday, the nasal vaccine has not yet undergone clinical trials and is currently being tested “off-label mostly” – on the center’s staff.
In accordance with established scientific protocols, the vaccine will need to go through several test phases, including those involving thousands of people, to establish that it is safe and effective to use.
Last month, RussiaThe Ministry of Health gave a regulatory go-ahead for early trials with the nasal form of Sputnik V among 500 volunteers, but it was not immediately clear if it had already begun.
Putin told a government meeting on Wednesday that “exactly six months after the vaccination, my titers of protective (antibodies) have dropped, and specialists recommended the revaccination procedure, which I did.”
he sa he experienced no unpleasant effects after taking the nasal vaccine.
The last few weeks have Russia has been swept away by its highest COVID-19 increase ever, with officials regularly registering a record number of new infections and deaths.
The increase came amid low vaccination rates and lax public attitudes to taking precautionary measures. Less than 40% of RussiaNearly 146 million people have been fully vaccinated, although the country approved a domestically developed covid-19 vaccine months before most of the world.
The Russians are currently offered four domestically developed vaccines, with Sputnik V and Sputnik Light dominating the market. Data on the effects of two others, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac, have not yet been released; Like Sputnik V, these two shoots have received regulatory approval before completing late-stage trials necessary to determine their effectiveness in preventing disease.
RussiaThe Ministry of Health is expected to approve a version of Sputnik V for teenagers aged 12 to 17 on Wednesday, said Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova Putin during the government meeting.
According to Russias state registry of clinical trials, jab, which is essentially a smaller dose of Sputnik V, was tested on more than 3,600 volunteers. No data on its effectiveness has been released yet.
The immunization drives in Russia has been hampered by widespread vaccination activity. A survey released by the independent opinion leader Levada Center earlier this month showed that 45% of Russians were unwilling to take domestically developed shots.
In an attempt to increase vaccine intake, doctors from 11 Russian hospitals released an open letter on Wednesday, inviting those who are skeptical of vaccines – and in particular a number of prominent public figures known for expressing their skepticism publicly – to visit coronavirus wards and intensive care units. care units with covid-19 patients.
“Maybe after that you will change and fewer people will die,” the letter said.
RussiaThe coronavirus’s state working group reported 33,558 new infections on Wednesday and 1,240 deaths. Golikova called the daily mortality figures “dramatic” and noted at the same time that the spread of infection in the country has taken a downward trend.
In total, the working group has reported over 9.4 million confirmed infections and more than 267,000 deaths from covid-19, by far the highest death rate in Europe. Some experts believe that the real figure is even higher.
Reports by Russia‘s statistics service, Rosstat, which counts deaths linked to coronavirus retroactively, reveals much higher mortality. They say that 462,000 people with covid-19 died between April 2020 and September this year.
Russian officials have said the working group only includes deaths for which covid-19 was the main cause, and uses data from medical facilities. Rosstat uses broader criteria to count virus-related deaths and derives its figures from the population register where the registration of a death is completed.
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