Vladimir Putin to Turkish President
President Vladimir Putin told Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday that he should use the Russian Sputnik for his next booster shot and bragged about high antibody levels as he welcomed the Turkish leader for talks.
In a warm exchange after three hours of talks at Putin’s residence in the resort town of Sochi, Putin said he recently spent an entire day with an infected assistant but did not contract the coronavirus.
“I have high levels of antibodies, thank goodness I was lucky,” Putin told Erdogan in his palm-fringed residence.
“So the next time you get vaccinated again (use) Sputnik,” Putin said in remarks broadcast on state television.
Erdogan said he had already received a Pfizer booster and had an antibody level of 1,100.
“Next time then,” Putin replied.
Erdogan said nothing and just laughed.
Earlier this month, the 68-year-old Kremlin chief spent two weeks in self-isolation after dozens of cases were detected around him.
Russia recorded 857 new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday, its highest number of coronavirus deaths for a second day in a row, as infections rise due to the Delta variant and slow vaccination rates.
The new figure brought the total number of deaths from Covid-19 in the country to 206,388 – the highest in Europe.
Authorities have been accused of downplaying the severity of the outbreak.
Several Russian vaccines, including Sputnik, have been available for months, but authorities are struggling to vaccinate a population skeptical of the vaccines.
As of Wednesday, just under 30% of the Russian population had been fully vaccinated, according to the Gogov website, which lists Covid data from the regions.
(Except for the title, this story was not edited by NDTV staff and is posted from a syndicated feed.)