The Kremlin is convinced that the World Health Organization (WHO) will recognize Russia’s flagship Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine within a few months, the Interfax news agency cited Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov as saying on Sunday.
The Kremlin on Tuesday said Russia had still not handed over all the information needed for the vaccine to be approved by the WHO because of differences in regulatory standards.
“I am deeply convinced that literally within a few months… the WHO will approve Sputnik and it will also then be possible to move forward on this path with the Europeans,” Interfax quoted Peskov as saying.
The WHO expects to receive the relevant documents by the end of the year, RIA reported, citing WHO spokesperson Tarik Jasarevic.
In a documentary about the COVID-19 pandemic, aired on state television channel Rossiya 1 in Russia’s Far East ahead of scheduled programming in Moscow, Peskov said mortality in Russia was very high, describing it as a tragedy and something that preoccupied President Vladimir Putin and his presidential administration.
Russia reported 1,023 deaths from COVID-19 on Sunday. The country’s overall death toll is the third worst in the world, behind only the United States and Brazil, according to Reuters calculations.
Peskov described people who refuse to get vaccinated as “dangerous fools,” TASS reported.
Many Russians have said they are reluctant to get vaccinated. Some people say they are hesitant due to mistrust of the authorities, while others cite concerns about the safety of vaccines.
Peskov also said that staff in the presidential administration and their relatives were sadly among those dying from the virus, but played down fears that Putin may get infected.
He said Putin has been vaccinated, revaccinated and took part in a trial of a nasal form of its Sputnik vaccine against COVID-19.
“He has the necessary number of specialists and doctors working around him… who ensure his epidemiological safety,” Peskov was quoted as saying.