Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday he had received a third dose of a Covid vaccine, as the country grapples with a new wave of the virus.
“I got it two hours ago,” Putin said on state broadcaster Rossiya 24, assuring viewers that his booster shot of the Sputnik vaccine had been painless.
Authorities are struggling to convince people to get vaccinated against Covid, even as a new wave of the virus kills record numbers every day.
Even though Russia has several vaccines that it has made itself, only 36.7% of the population is fully vaccinated, according to the Gogov website, which tracks the data.
Putin, who says he is opposed to compulsory universal vaccination, nevertheless supported the measures taken in certain regions for certain categories of people.
So, in June, authorities in the capital Moscow declared that vaccination would be compulsory for anyone working in the service sector.
Russia has officially recorded more than 9.3 million cases of Covid and just over 264,000 deaths to date, making it the worst-affected country in Europe.
According to figures from the statistics agency Rosstat, which works with a broader definition of deaths linked to Covid, the actual toll of the pandemic was closer to 450,000 at the end of September.