Moscow [Russia], June 30 (ANI): Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has been confirmed with high-level antibodies against COVID-19 virus after being inoculated with Sputnik V vaccine, on Wednesday said he remains opposed to compulsory coronavirus vaccinations for Russians, even as the country faces a deadly third coronavirus wave.
"I said once as you remember that I don't support compulsory vaccination. And I continue to adhere to the same point of view, " Putin said during his annual "Direct Line" call-in television show, responding to citizens questions, the Russian news agency TASS reported.
The 68-year-old Russian leader was quoted by The Washington Post as saying: "The only way to prevent the pandemic from developing further is vaccination," he said. "I hope that the prejudices among people will decrease."
Putin revealed that he had been inoculated against the coronavirus disease with the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine earlier this year and had been confirmed with a high level of antibodies after vaccination, the vaccine maker said in a tweet.
Russia launched mass vaccination for its citizens aged above 18 years on January 18. Four Russian vaccines against COVID-19 have been registered in the country now. The most widespread drug is Sputnik V developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology.
In Russia, vaccination against coronavirus is voluntary. Compulsory jabs are required only in some regions and for certain groups of citizens, including staff of the services sector, TASS reported.
He also said that his daughter had also been inoculated with the Sputnik V and stressed that the vaccine entailed no serious consequences.
Ahead of Putin's TV show, Russia announced it recorded 21,042 new coronavirus cases and a record number of related deaths, 669, in the past day.
Meanwhile, Putin has announced the launch of a rehabilitation system for people who had recovered from COVID-19.
"We are investing a lot of money into the rehabilitation system, and right now we will conclude a contract for the purchase of the required equipment. The fact is that in order to undergo rehabilitation after COVID, which strikes the respiratory organs and other body systems, we need special equipment," Putin said, adding that "the money is being allocated, and the work has begun."
Meanwhile, on WHO concern over Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine issues with the filling of vials at one plant, Pharmastanfar - UfaVITA, the Russian leader said that the issues did not relate to the safety or efficacy of the vaccine itself, the plant is responsible only for pouring into vials doses of Sputnik V vaccine produced elsewhere.
WHO did not raise any questions about the safety and efficacy of the produced and finished vaccine as the "Sputnik V" vaccine undergoes strictest double quality output control of the Gamaleya Institute and the Russian health regulator (Federal Healthcare Service - Roszdravnadzor), said OJSC Pharmstandard-UfaVITA statement.
WHO interim inspection did not identify any critical issues with the actual vaccine's production, quality, clinical studies, possible side effects, nor with the double quality output control by both the Gamaleya Institute and the Russian health regulator.
Instead, WHO inspectors' attention was focused on only 4 technical issues mostly related to one of the filling lines that have all been subsequently fully addressed, said the statement.
Further, OJSC Pharmstandard-UfaVITA invited WHO for another inspection. (ANI)