- Russian President Vladimir Putin received a vaccine behind closed doors Tuesday, officials said.
- It was one of the three Russian-made vaccines, per the Kremlin, which did not get more specific.
- Putin, who usually loves photo ops, is out of step with world leaders who got vaccinated in public.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Russian President Vladimir Putin is said to have received a COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday but has not disclosed which one.
“Putin was vaccinated against the coronavirus,” Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s top spokesman, told CNN. “[He] feels good. Tomorrow he has a full working day.”
Peskov earlier said the vaccination would not be a public event because Putin “doesn’t like” the idea of being on camera for it, according to CNN.
He refused to say which vaccine Putin got but said it was one of the three available in Russia: Sputnik V, EpiVacCorona, and CoviVac.
“We are deliberately not saying which shot the president will get, noting that all three Russian [-made] vaccines are absolutely reliable and effective,” Peskov said, according to Reuters.
Asked how anyone would know that Putin had really been vaccinated, Peskov responded, “You will have to take our word for it.”
Many noted that deciding to leave the cameras behind was out of character for Putin, who is known for posed photo ops:
—ian bremmer (@ianbremmer)
March 24, 2021
It is also a change from other world leaders who chose to get their shots publicly to encourage trust in vaccination.
President Joe Biden was injected publicly during his transition to the presidency. UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson took his jab in public last week.
Putin’s preference for private vaccination is shared by former President Donald Trump, who was vaccinated in January while still in office but did not make that fact public. News outlets first reported it March 1.
Sputnik V has been approved in Russia for more than 10 months, and Putin, 68, has been eligible for it since December, The New York Times reported.
Some had questioned why Putin had not received a vaccine until Tuesday, long after he told the media that one of his daughters had received one.
Sputnik V was found to be 91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19 in an analysis published in February. EpiVacCorona and CoviVac were approved in Russia in October and last month, respectively, but neither has completed late-stage trials, which confirm vaccine safety and efficacy.
5.9 million Russians have received a COVID-19 vaccine at home, according to Our World in Data, out of a population of over 145 million.
Peskov, the Kremlin representative, said the demand abroad for Sputnik V exceeded supply so promotion was not needed, The Times reported.
The shot is now approved in 56 countries, according to the Sputnik V representatives. But it is not authorized in the European Union, the UK, or the US.
Russia plans to vaccinate one in 10 people in the world with Sputnik V this year, Insider’s Kate Duffy reported on March 12.