MOSCOW, June 30. /TASS/. COVID-19 won’t go anywhere, and the only way to stop it is to get vaccinated, Russian President Vladimir Putin said during his annual Q&A session, known as the Direct Line, on Wednesday.
The Russian leader revealed that he got inoculated with Sputnik V, but said it is not necessary to choose only this particular vaccine. Putin also remains opposed to compulsory vaccination for all, although this will be necessary for some groups of Russians in order to prevent a lockdown.
"No, it [COVID-19] won’t go anywhere - there is the need to get vaccinated," Putin said.
Putin on his jab
"I proceeded from the fact that I needed to be protected as long as possible, and I made the decision to get the Sputnik V jab," Putin revealed.
The president also said that some people in his inner circle have experienced the novel coronavirus infection after vaccination.
"People in my inner circle have been vaccinated, but regrettably fell ill. It was all over very quickly. No heavy special medications had to be used," he said.
Meanwhile, he noted that "if persons without a vaccine fall ill, the certain consequences can be rather tough." Therefore, Russia is creating a special system of rehabilitating former patients. "We will invest serious amounts of money, we have allocated special funds for the rehabilitation system".
Herd immunity against COVID-19
"I hope in the end we will still achieve herd immunity, which we are speaking about, including thanks to the active vaccination process, and schools, higher education institutions, small and medium-sized businesses and our large companies will work as normal," Putin said.
On the collusion of world leaders
"I have heard a lot: that there is nothing, in fact there is no epidemic at all. Sometimes I look at what people say, they are adults and educated, I don’t know where they get this that <...> the leaders of countries across the world colluded. Do they really get what is going on in the world, the contradictions the world is facing today? Well, they 'gathered and colluded' - this is nonsense," he said.