The gesture of giving complimentary Sputnik-V vaccine by the Russian President was part of his speech to this year’s UN General Assembly marking the body’s 75h birthday.
Only results from small early studies on the Russian vaccine have been published, raising concerns among some scientists that it isn’t ready yet for widespread use — and prompting worldwide memes about potential bizarre side effects.
“Any one of us could face this dangerous virus. The virus has not spared the staff of the United Nations, its headquarters and regional entities,” Vladimir Putin said in a prerecorded speech from Moscow.
The coronavirus pandemic means this year’s General Assembly is a work-from-home production, for the first time in its history.
“Russia is ready to offer UN workers the necessary, qualified help, and in particular we propose to supply our vaccine for free to employees of the organization and its subsidiaries who volunteer for vaccination,” said Putin, who announced the vaccine to broad fanfare last month and said his own daughter is among those who have taken it.
He described Tuesday's offer as a response to popular demand: “Some colleagues from the UN have asked about this, and we will not remain indifferent to them.”
UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said, “We thank President Putin for his generous offer which will be studied by our medical services.”