What do you do when Vladimir Putin offers you Russia’s new coronavirus vaccine, for free? United Nations staff in New York and around the world are now facing that choice, after the Russian president offered to provide them the Sputnik-V vaccine in a speech to this year’s General Assembly marking the body’s 75th birthday.
“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 organisation 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 the 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.”