Putin can’t take Russia’s "safe" COVID vaccine, Kremlin says

“We have not yet begun widespread vaccination and the head of state can’t take part in vaccination as a volunteer. It’s impossible,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Tuesday, in response to a question on whether Putin had been inoculated. “The president can’t use an uncertified vaccine.”

Russia has the world’s fifth-highest number of cases globally, passing 2 million last week. Putin announced the registration in August of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and a second inoculation was approved in October, even as Phase 3 trials to establish safety and efficacy are still taking place.

Putin, 68, is in a higher risk category because of his age. The first group of volunteers aged 60 and over began vaccine trials on Oct. 28, state-run Tass news service reported last month, citing the doctor who is running the tests.