A smirking man in a suit sits in front of a UN flag.
Enlarge / Russian President Vladimir Putin tackle the seventy fifth session of the United Nations Basic Meeting, through teleconference name, in Moscow on September 22, 2020.

Some United Nations workers are seemingly brushing up on their Russian—particularly the way to say “Thanks, however no thanks” within the nicest means potential.

On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin supplied UN workers free doses of the nation’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which has not accomplished scientific trials for efficacy and has not been totally vetted for security.

Nonetheless, Putin prompt that his supply was prompted by the need to present the individuals what they need: “Some colleagues from the UN have requested about this, and we won’t stay detached to them,” he mentioned throughout a speech Tuesday at this yr’s (digital) Basic Meeting.

Putin made headlines final month after saying that Russia has granted regulatory approval for the (restricted) use of Sputnik V, the primary nation on this planet to take action. He even boasted that certainly one of his daughters had obtained her first dose of the vaccine.

However public well being specialists had been rapidly skeptical of the transfer, seeing it as merely a political stunt to present the looks that Russia was “successful” the race to develop a vaccine towards the pandemic coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2. On the time, the vaccine had solely been examined in two small scientific trials, involving simply 76 individuals complete—and the information from these small trials had not but been launched.

No remark

Russian researchers have since revealed that knowledge within the journal The Lancet. The outcomes point out that Sputnik V spurred probably protecting immune responses and didn’t trigger any extreme unwanted effects. Nevertheless, outdoors researchers had been fast to notice oddities within the knowledge, together with that completely different samples generated suspiciously similar or near-identical outcomes.

Sputnik V has now moved into bigger trials with tens of 1000’s of individuals. These will take a look at whether or not the vaccine is secure in a bigger variety of individuals and really protects towards an infection from SARS-CoV-2. However any clear outcomes are months away.

The shortage of information doesn’t appear to bother Putin, who was blissful to distribute the vaccine to UN workers. “Any certainly one of us might face this harmful virus. The virus has not spared the workers of the United Nations, its headquarters, and regional entities,” Putin mentioned in a prerecorded speech from Moscow, based on the AP. “Russia is able to supply UN employees the required, certified assist, and specifically we suggest to provide our vaccine without spending a dime to staff of the group and its subsidiaries who volunteer for vaccination.”

UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric informed the AP that “We thank President Putin for his beneficiant supply, which will probably be studied by our medical companies.”

Dr. Margaret Harris, spokesperson for the World Well being Group, which is an company inside the UN, declined to remark.

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