Russian President Vladimir Putin has stated that his country's COVID-19 vaccines are as reliable as Russia's iconic Kalashnikov rifle, reports news agency TASS. Till now, Russia has indigenously developed four COVID-19 vaccines, including the Sputnik V.
Addressing a video conference with Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova on Thursday, Putin said, "Our medications are based on technologies and platforms that have been used literally for decades. They are also very modern and up-to-date, and undoubtedly, they are the most reliable and the safest."
"They are as reliable as an AK-47. By the way, it wasn't us who said that, this was said by a European specialist. And I think that he is certainly right," TASS quoted the Russian President as saying. The 'AK-47' is one of the most well know guns in the world having been used by various groups across the map.
Putin made this statement on the day Russian medical authorities gave regulatory approval to a single-dose version of the country's Sputnik V vaccine. The single-dose version of the COVID-19 vaccine is being called Sputnik Light. It is identical to the first dose of the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine. Sputnik Light is yet to complete advanced clinical trials.
Last year, Russia had faced criticism from the international medical community for authorising Sputnik V before the advanced trial of the vaccine had even started.
Public perception regarding the Sputnik V vaccine started to change after the data from the advanced trial was published in medical journal The Lancet. The paper published in The Lancet had stated that the Sputnik V vaccine "appears safe and effective" and was 91 per cent effective in preventing coronavirus infection.
Sputnik V is among the three COVID-19 vaccines that have been granted emergency use approval in India. Dr Reddy's Laboratories has partnered with the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) for the procurement and production of Sputnik V in India.
EpiVacCorona and CoviVac are the other two COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by the Russian regulators before completing large-scale testing.