Several members of Vladimir Putin’s entourage contracted COVID-19, prompting the Russian president to go into self quarantine on Sept. 14.
The Kremlin confirmed Putin was fully vaccinated with Sputnik V, uninfected, and in good health.
“It is a natural experiment, let us see how Sputnik V works in practice,” he said according to Reuters.
The president has been in close contact with several infected members of his inner circle at numerous public engagements.
“Even in my circle problems occur with this COVID,” he said according to CBS News. “We need to look into what is really happening there … [and] a lot of people around (me) are sick.”
The president does not appear to be concerned at all about the risk of infection.
“I have quite high levels of antibodies, let us see how that plays out in real life,” he said according to Reuters. “I hope everything will be as it should be.”
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov revealed multiple doctors are confident Putin did not infect Russian Paralympians, Belarus joint military drill personnel, and Syrian President Bashar Assad during official meetings.
One of the patients was fully vaccinated and began experiencing symptoms after his antibody count dropped. He felt unwell three days after being revaccinated.
“Judging by everything that was a little late (to get revaccinated),” Putin said according to the newswire agency.
The president will continue performing his duties through video conferencing.
Daily coronavirus infections in Russia remain stable at about 17,000-18,000. Daily death tolls are hovering around 800, the highest level seen since the beginning of the pandemic according to the broadcaster.
Russia’s state coronavirus task group confirmed a total of 7.1 million COVID-19 cases and 194,249 deaths have been reported. BL understands the actual number could be much higher.
Russian people are cautious about vaccination with polls showing two-thirds of the respondents are not considering immunization, according to the New York Times.
The country with a population of nearly 144.4 million people achieved 27.6 percent full vaccination as of Sept. 13. Some 32 percent has received at least one dose, according to the paper.