Russian President Vladimir Putin says he’s feeling “fine” after taking an experimental nasal COVID jab earlier this week while also receiving a booster dose of the experimental “Sputnik V” jab as well.
According to Bloomberg, Putin said late last week that the nasal version of the jab is still in trials and hasn’t been approved by regulators in Russia. But in a televised appearance announcing he’d taken the injected booster, Putin said he would also volunteer to participate in the testing of the nasal vaccine as well.
Denis Logunov, deputy director of the Gamaleya National Research Center, which was responsible for developing Sputnik, said that taking the two vaccines together would help better protect Putin against infection in the upper respiratory tract.
The long-serving Russian president, 69, said Logunov gave him the nasal version Monday. Putin told a government meeting that he was “feeling fine” after the boosters, and that he had exercised that day.
Russia memorably claimed to be the first country to approve a COVID jab in the summer of 2020, but officials and scientists began getting the shots even before Sputnik V was registered. Putin, however, got his first two-dose inoculation only in March of this year.
Gamaleya’s Logunov reportedly told Putin that workers at the center had also tried the nasal version of the jab, leaving it up to the president whether he would also like to try it. “That’s off-label and we’re testing it on staff as usual,” he explained to the press in a statement.
Meanwhile, in a meeting with Putin on Wednesday, Russian PM Mikhail Mishustin said pre-clinical testing of the nasal inoculation “showed it was safe and effective” and that Phase 1 clinical trials in adult volunteers had been authorized, with initial results due back in 42 days.