Vladimir Putin’s Ebola vaccine application

Written by Staff Writer Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin has applied a homemade invention to fight Ebola, providing alarming details about what he claims is an original synthetic vaccine for infection with the…

Vladimir Putin's Ebola vaccine application


Written by Staff Writer

Moscow – Russian President Vladimir Putin has applied a homemade invention to fight Ebola, providing alarming details about what he claims is an original synthetic vaccine for infection with the deadly virus.

Since Ebola broke out in 2014, Putin has been a vocal advocate for government funding for new vaccines, including an experimental one that was once developed by US biotech company Novartis.

The country’s top public health official, meanwhile, has also said vaccine development is a key national security priority.

According to the President’s own account, Putin took a video of himself on Monday applying the vaccine under a physician’s supervision, in the presence of health care workers at a government-run clinic in the Russian capital.

Speaking in a thick Russian accent, Putin appeared to comment on the large number of civilians who he said were working as health workers in places hard hit by Ebola.

“These people have had to live in areas without roads and do all their work in the dark, with little electricity and very dusty conditions,” Putin said in the video (see below).

“I personally have to say thank you to them for not having left for work and instead staying home and working day and night, keeping these terrorists down. Which we all know they are no threat to us. Not even to monkeys.”

Putin has personally asked for aid

“According to scientific data, the main way to deliver a malaria vaccine to the people (is via) a vector, such as mosquitoes or flies. However, in the case of the Ebola virus there is a persistent problem in the management of transmission,” Putin said.

“I recall that after the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic, I personally asked for the support of the international community in this, and I can say there was a general agreement in this.”

But Putin also added that while some countries had been “doing extremely well” in strengthening their defenses against infectious diseases, others like Russia have been left behind.

“Countries of this world should know that whatever mistakes they may make in their cooperation with us, there is one thing they can do that is impossible for us: They should be first.”

CNN attempts to contact the media team overseeing the video to confirm the authenticity of Putin’s interview, but has not yet received a response.

In a separate video on Monday, Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, told journalists that “it will take a while” before the president’s newest invention would be tested in testing children and adults.

“The project is still in the pre-clinical stage, with only small trials,” Peskov said, adding that the plan was for the vaccine to be stockpiled as soon as possible.

Putin requested a government meeting earlier this year to discuss how to speed up production of new vaccines.

Vaccine and political programs

Health Minister Veronika Skvortsova has warned in the past that there was a “serious threat” the country could become a hotbed for Ebola. She also pushed for funding for new vaccines and targeted vaccinations.

Russia has admitted to 21 cases of Ebola since the outbreak broke out in West Africa.

Skvortsova told CNN in August that Ebola was detected at four locations in the country before the emergency response system had been activated.

Russia’s plan is to build a vaccination institute on the territory of a national hospital in Ufa and expect it to be functional by the end of 2019.

Russia is not the only country with such a planned facility. Brazil recently ordered $250 million in vaccines for its sick border guards, according to the Brazilian news site G1.

The scandal

The issue of the Russian vaccines is coming to light only after the company submitting the invention to the government is engulfed in scandal.

Bioproject International, which registered the vaccine in Russia for sale has itself been facing serious problems in the construction of its plant in Port Elizabeth, in the country’s northwestern Khumbu province.

The company is under investigation by police for suspected money laundering, embezzlement and defrauding a local contractor of an amount of more than $50 million.

The company’s chief engineer and the head of the plant have been arrested on the suspicion of corruption.

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