U.S. filmmaker Oliver Stone said he has received Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against the coronavirus despite the country's mass rollout not covering his age group.
Russia launched nationwide Covid-19 vaccine distribution late last week among high-risk health, education and other workers aged 18 to 60. Experts have warned it could be harmful for patients aged 60 and older, who develop more severe forms of Covid-19 and have the highest death rates.
“I got a vaccine a few days ago. I don’t know if it’ll work but I heard good things about the Russian vaccine,” Stone, 74, told Russia’s Channel One state broadcaster.
Stone, who had been touring Russia’s nuclear plants for his upcoming climate change documentary, said in an interview that aired Monday he plans to return to receive the second shot.
“I’m hopeful. It’s a very good vaccine, I don’t understand why it’s being ignored in the West,” Stone, who filmed a series of flattering interviews with Putin ahead of the Russian president’s 2018 re-election, said through a dubbed voiceover translation.
Developers of Sputnik V said this fall they launched trials among 150 volunteers aged over 60 to determine its safety.
Around 320,000 doses have gone into distribution as part of the mass vaccination campaign so far, Sputnik V’s developers have said. Russia’s sovereign wealth fund that finances and markets the vaccine said more than 200,000 Russians have been inoculated outside post-registration trials.
Developers on Monday said data obtained three weeks after volunteers received the first of two Sputnik V doses showed 91.4% efficacy and 100% against severe cases.
Russia has confirmed some 2.7 million infections and nearly 47,500 deaths since the start of the pandemic.