Vladimir Putin says he experienced minor side effects after receiving his first dose of a Russian coronavirus vaccine.
In a televised interview with a state-run broadcaster, the Russian president said: “I woke up the next morning after the vaccination and it seemed to me I felt a slight pain in muscles. I took a thermometer and my temperature was normal.”
It comes just after Mr Putin, known for releasing hyper-masculine images of himself, enjoyed a weekend break to Siberia with his defence minister Sergei Shoigu, wearing sheepskin coats.
The Russian president was filmed driving a military vehicle through a forest, enjoying an outdoor meal and drinks at a booth draped in animal skins, and admiring a piece of carved wood in Mr Shoigu’s workshop.
In his television interview, he did not reveal which of Russia’s three vaccines he had taken, stating only the doctor who delivered the injection knows that but said that all three Russian vaccines were almost equal.
The launch of the Sputnik V vaccine last year surprised the international community and provoked concerns about the quality of the research behind it.
However interim results from a phase three trial published in the British medical journal The Lancet appeared to show that it was safe and effective.
According to independent pollsters Levada Centre, nearly two-thirds of Russians are unwilling to receive the Sputnik V vaccine, most of them due to concerns about side effects.
Russia’s vaccination campaign began in December, and Mr Putin has claimed that 4.3 million out of 144 million Russians have so far received two doses.