Russia to Export Nasal COVID-19 Vaccine Taken by Putin

By Tammy Hung
Tammy Hung
Tammy Hung
November 28, 2021 Updated: November 28, 2021

The head of a Russian state-owned investment fund, Kirill Dmitriev, said on Nov. 24 that Russia would sell the Sputnik V nasal vaccine to other countries next year, according to televised footage obtained by Reuters.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF), responsible for marketing Russia’s domestically produced vaccine overseas, made the announcement after President Vladimir Putin took the Sputnik booster shot last week.

Putin received his first dose of Sputnik V in April this year and was boosted with Sputnik Light last week.

He described being asked to breathe in, then being administered the vaccine through a syringe, in a statement to state-run media TASS.

The president also told TASS that he felt well after the booster. “I was revaccinated two hours ago. I feel nothing. I am in normal condition. Everything is all right,” he said.

“Exactly six months after vaccination my titers of protective [antibodies] have dropped, and specialists recommended the procedure of revaccination, which I did,” Putin added, according to The Hill.

Sputnik V, a two-shot recombinant adenovirus-based vaccine with a three-week interval between shots, was found to have 91.6 percent efficacy against COVID-19 in adults over 18 years of age, according to a February study by The Lancet.

Of the 16,427 in the vaccine group, 45 reported serious adverse effects while three died, however the Lancet concluded that “none of [the deaths] were considered related to the vaccine.”

Sputnik Light, containing the first component of Sputnik V, is a “stand-alone one-shot vaccine” with claims of over 80 percent efficacy against infection, according to its website.

As of Nov. 18, Statista estimated that nearly 36 percent of Russians have been fully vaccinated.

While 119,759,585 vaccine doses have been administered in Russia as of Nov. 23, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), its vaccination rollout is still among the lowest in Europe.

In the face of rising COVID-19 cases in October, Putin addressed vaccine hesitancy by warning against “illness and its grave consequences.”

“I can’t understand what’s going on,” Putin said. “We have a reliable and efficient vaccine. The vaccine really reduces the risks of illness, grave complications, and death.”

According to RDIF, the Russian Health Ministry plans on registering the Sputnik V vaccine for adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age.

The Sputnik V vaccine has yet to be approved by the WHO after inspectors found manufacturing concerns in September that brought the approval process to a halt.

Tammy Hung