In the midst of the current war on vaccines, President Vladimir Putin on Thursday (6) turned to an old Soviet symbol to highlight the effectiveness of Sputnik V. During a meeting with his government’s summit in Moscow, the Russian leader said that Although the West has produced what it called breakthrough vaccines, Russian immunizers are safer and more reliable.
“As simple and reliable as a Kalashnikov rifle,” he said during a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Tatiana Golikova, broadcast live in the country.
The Kalashnikov, also known by the acronym AK-47, is the best-selling rifle of all time, famous for its low production value – compared to other similar armaments – and for almost never stopping, in addition to working in all situations climatic.
For this reason, the weapon was adopted by both armies and rebel groups around the world; in Mozambique, the rifle appears on the country’s flag due to its importance in the war of independence.
In Russia, there is a museum in honor of the AK-47, which illustrates products such as umbrellas, key rings, and even vodka. Just as the rifle was exported around the world, Putin has also tried to use Sputnik as a diplomatic currency, bringing the immunizer to developing countries that have struggled to obtain vaccines produced by American and European pharmaceutical companies.
However, there are doubts about the safety of the Russian vaccine: at the end of April, Anvisa denied authorization for the immunizer to be used in Brazil, for example. In addition to defending the effectiveness of the product, Putin also revealed on Thursday that Russia is producing a new vaccine against Covid-19, called Sputnik Light, which requires the application of a single dose.
According to the sovereign fund of the country, responsible for financing the local development of vaccines, the new drug has an effectiveness of 79.4%; in comparison, Sputnik V is 91.6% with two doses.
In the meeting with the deputy prime minister, Putin also said that he was in favor of breaking the patent on coronavirus vaccines. The statement places the Russian leader on the same side as the president of the United States, Joe Biden, his biggest rival in international politics.
On Wednesday (5), the White House announced a change in its historical position and began to defend the breach of patents for immunizers against Covid-19.