“According to expert opinions, the coronavirus will remain a threat for a long time,” Putin explained via video link.
“Considering that this virus continues to mutate, we should implement mechanisms for systemic and timely update of vaccines.”
Putin added that more international cooperation is required in terms of mutual recognition of vaccines and immunization certificates by national governments.
“Competition that I believe to be unfair, protectionism, the unwillingness of certain states, including members of the G20” for such recognition impedes the global vaccination efforts and exacerbates inequality in vaccine access, he stressed.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a major role to play as well, Putin added. “It’s crucial for the WHO to speed up the process of prequalification of new vaccines and therapeutics, i.e. the evaluation of their quality, safety and efficiency,” he said.
He reminded members that Russia’s pioneering Sputnik V vaccine and its single-component version Sputnik Light, which can serve as a booster shot to other vaccines, have been successfully used in many nations to protect their populations from COVID-19.
Many Western nations don’t authorize vaccinations with the Russian formula and don’t recognize immunization with it for international travel.
Global economic recovery, including in industries like tourism that were worst affected by the pandemic, depends on vaccination rates and the elimination of health-related red tape between nations, Putin said.
The two-day summit of the heads of the world’s 20 largest economies is underway in Rome.
The leaders of China and Russia are taking part in it via a video link.