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Russia opting for persuasion rather than compulsion concerning vaccination — Putin

MOSCOW, December 5. /TASS/. Russia’s authorities are opting for persuasion rather than compulsion in what concerns vaccination against the novel coronavirus infection, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Sunday.

"Indeed, the most important task is to vaccinate the population," he said during his video link with Francesco Rocca, President of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC). "And we are trying to follow a path of persuasion rather than of compulsion. We are trying to combat biased views and prejudices against vaccination as such."

According to the Russian president, the policy of persuading people in the necessity of vaccination against the novel coronavirus infection is yielding results in Russia.

"And I should say that in general, especially in the recent time, we see that it is yielding results," he said. "It is important to persuade people so that they understand that vaccination is necessary," he added.

The effectiveness of the Russian vaccine

Data from various countries indicate that the Russian coronavirus vaccine is among the world’s most efficient and safe, Russian President said.

"Millions of people who have been inoculated with the Russian vaccine and the analysis of data we receive indicates that the Russian vaccine is among the most effective from the point of view of protecting against COVID-19 and safe in terms of the absence of any side effects," he said.

He also said he had been vaccinated and revaccinated with Russia’s Sputnik.

According to the Russian president, Russia is receiving data for analysis from many countries, "including from absolutely neutral sources." "Independent structures from other countries share information about vaccination results with us. It is no exaggeration to say that these results are simply good," Putin stressed, adding that he doesn’t mean to say that other vaccines are any worse. "We totally trust [foreign vaccines]. I simply want to confirm that the Russian Sputnik V vaccine is effective and safe," he stressed.

Russia, in his words, is "helping many world countries not only by selling the vaccine but also by providing it free of charge." "We will expand this format of support. We supply testing systems, including for free, medicines we have developed and are widely using. No doubts, we will continue to move in this direction further on," he pledged.

WHO certification

It is important that Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is certified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as soon as possible so that it could be promoted abroad, Putin said.

He called for international cooperation in combating COVID-19 to prevent the emergence of new strains. "No doubt, we need to pool efforts internationally. Because if we see problems linked with insufficient vaccination even in one part of the world, these new variants, strains will reach even countries with wide vaccination coverage again and again," he said.

According to Putin, there are no problems for Russia but one. "We need to obtain a corresponding certificate of the World Health Organization as soon as possible so that our Sputnik V vaccine, you have mentioned, could be promoted in the world more widely," he said.

Recognition in other countries

He noted that around 200 million people have been inoculated with the Russian vaccine. "But it is necessary to see to it that those vaccinated with Sputnik V could have a possibility to move freely across the world, feel full-fledged citizens globally, like people vaccinated with other vaccines," he noted.

He stressed that these people’s rights "should not be infringed upon, including the right to move across countries’ borders."

Russia, in his words, hopes for the IFRC’s assistance in promoting the Russian coronavirus vaccine internationally, since it united 192 member nations.