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Simple and reliable as Kalashnikov assault rifle’: Putin speaks about Russia’s Covid-19 vaccines

Russia’s coronavirus vaccines are as simple and reliable as the Kalashnikov rifle, President Vladimir Putin said, as the country registers a single-dose version of the Sputnik V vaccine.

“I know that another one of our vaccines has been prepared for registration, Sputnik Light,” Putin said, shortly before the jab was registered by the Health Ministry. Speaking during a video conference with Deputy Prime Minister Tatyana Golikova on Thursday, the president went on to say that Russia’s vaccines are based on tried and tested technology that is also modern, reliable, and secure.

“As reliable as a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” he noted, adding that he was quoting “one of the European experts.” Putin was apparently referring to a statement made by the chairman of the Austrian Society of Infectious Diseases and Tropical Medicine, Professor Florian Thalhammer, in February.

Thalhammer, who is also a leading infectious disease specialist at the Medical University of Vienna, said Sputnik V is as simple, reliable, and effective as the Kalashnikov rifle.

“I think he is certainly right: Simple and reliable as a Kalashnikov assault rifle,” Putin said.

‘Sputnik Light’ is a single-dose version of the world’s first coronavirus vaccine, the Sputnik V, which Russia registered last August. It is based on a human adenoviral vector-based platform and has been registered in more than 60 countries. In February, the Lancet medical journal published data from the Gamaleya Institute, which developed the vaccine, showing it was 91.6% effective.

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