Vladimir Putin takes experimental nasal vaccine against Covid-19

Irish Examiner

Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Wednesday that he has taken an experimental nasal vaccine against the coronavirus, three days after he received his booster shot, as Russia faces its worst surge of infections and deaths since the pandemic began.

Putin was vaccinated with Sputnik V, Russia’s domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine, in the spring.

On Sunday, he said he received a booster shot of Sputnik Light, the one-dose version of the jab, and said he wanted to take part in testing the nasal version of Sputnik V.

Denis Logunov, deputy director of Russia’s state-funded Gamaleya Centre that developed Sputnik V, told Putin on Sunday that the nasal vaccine is yet to go through clinical studies and is currently being tested “off-label mostly” — on the centre’s staff members.

462,000

The number of deaths in Russia linked to Covid-19 since April 2020

In accordance with established scientific protocols, the vaccine will need to go through several trial phases, including those involving thousands of people, to establish that it is safe and effective to use.

Last month, Russia’s Health Ministry gave a regulatory go-ahead to early trials of the nasal form of Sputnik V among 500 volunteers, but it was not immediately clear whether it has already started.

Putin told a government meeting on Wednesday that “exactly six months after vaccination, my level of protective (antibodies) have dropped, and specialists recommended the procedure of revaccination, which I did.”

He said he did not experience any unpleasant effects after taking the nasal vaccine.

In recent weeks, Russia has been swept by its highest ever Covid-19 surge, with officials regularly registering record-high numbers of new infections and deaths.

The surge came amid low vaccination rates and lax public attitudes toward taking precautions.

Fewer than 40% of Russia’s nearly 146 million people have been fully vaccinated, even though the country approved a domestically developed Covid-19 vaccine months before most of the world…

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