“Experts tell us that the vaccines now available are intended for citizens in a specific age category, the vaccines haven’t reached people like me but I’ll do it as soon as it becomes possible, Putin said speaking at his annual December press conference on Thursday, 17 December.
According to NBC News, Russia has the fourth-most cases of coronavirus globally at more than 2.7 million, it started a national campaign to vaccinate the public against the virus with the Sputnik V vaccine but demand for the free shots has so far been limited.
The 68-year-old said vaccine production continues to be held back by lack of necessary equipment, but pledged that output would reach millions of doses per month next year. In response to a question, he said Russia’s distribution of the vaccine to other countries wouldn’t affect availability at home.
Sputnik V had officially been authorized for use only on people up to 60 years of age, but several prominent officials above that age, including defense minister Sergei Shoigu, 65, and ultranationalist leader Vladimir Zhirinovsky, 74, have been shown on national television taking the shots.
Sputnik V has been tested on volunteers ages 18-60 and thus it is recommended only for people between the age group, because Putin is 68, he does not qualify.
Vaccinating the elderly and especially those with underlying health needs is seen as a priority by most experts given that they are most vulnerable to dying from Covid-19