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11 May, 2021 15:11

UN chief Guterres encourages organization’s staff to take Russia’s Sputnik V jab to protect against Covid-19, where available

UN chief Guterres encourages organization’s staff to take Russia’s Sputnik V jab to protect against Covid-19, where available

Ahead of his visit to Moscow on Tuesday, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has tacitly endorsed Russia’s Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine, stating he believes UN staff should not hesitate to take the jab, wherever it’s available.

The jab, created by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute and now licensed in 64 countries, became the world’s first registered vaccine against the coronavirus last summer. However, it has yet to be approved by the World Health Organization (WHO).

“Many UN personnel have already received the Sputnik vaccine, namely in the Russian Federation, and we would like to be able to use it by ourselves and are only waiting for the evaluation by the World Health Organization, that from the point of view of the work of the UN itself, is necessary,” Guterres told reporters. “But, we encourage, of course, the staff of the UN that are working in countries that are vaccinating with Sputnik, to receive this vaccine.”

Also on rt.com ‘I trust Sputnik more than the federal govt,’ German MP tells RT after getting Russian jab during visit to Moscow for V-Day parade

The WHO says it is “still receiving information” from the Gamaleya Institute and recommendations will be made “after the inspections have been finalized.” This process is set to take place from May 10 until the first week of June.

Despite receiving predictably widespread, negative press from Western media outlets and facing accusations of it being a ‘tool’ of Russian ‘soft power’, Sputnik V has been rated highly by scientists across the globe. Research published in renowned British medical journal The Lancet earlier this year concluded that the Russian jab was ‘safe and effective,’ and had a 91.6% efficacy rate against Covid-19. This can be compared to the Pfizer BioNTech vaccine, produced in Germany, which apparently offers 95% protection and the offering from Britain’s AstraZeneca, which had a lower efficacy rating of 62%.

Sputnik V was first registered in Russia in August 2020, but the mass rollout did not begin until January of this year. The Gamaleya Institute also launched a single-dose alternative, dubbed Sputnik Light, on May 6, which it says will help prevent the spread of coronavirus by immunizing large swathes of the population more quickly.

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