President Vladimir Putin

Russian President, Vladimir Putin, has not been administered the state developed COVID vaccine, Sputnik V, because it is still being tested, his spokesperson said on Tuesday.

“The head of state cannot take part in the vaccination as a volunteer,’’ Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Pesko said in comments carried by state news agency TASS.

PM NEWS notes that Russia was the first country to introduce a vaccine against the novel Coronavirus. However, Sputnik V vaccine is currently undergoing an advanced trial with 40,000 volunteers.

“The president cannot use an uncertified vaccine,’’ Peskov said. The testing period will soon conclude and Putin could then decide whether to use the vaccine, he added.

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Sputnik V vaccine is named after the first man-made satellite to reach orbit, Sputnik-1, a triumph of the Soviet Union in the space race with rival superpower the U. S in the late 1950s.

Putin has personally endorsed the vaccine, saying his daughter took it successfully without experiencing any side effect worse than a slight, temporary fever.

dpa/NAN