Kremlin says Putin getting vaccinated sets a good example for Russians

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FILE PHOTO: Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a video conference call outside Moscow

MOSCOW (Reuters) - The Kremlin said on Wednesday that President Vladimir Putin had set a good example to Russians by getting vaccinated against COVID-19 and that he would get the second of a two-shot vaccine in around three weeks.

Putin had his first shot on Tuesday but declined to say which of Russia's three vaccines he received, the Kremlin said. It released no photographs or video footage of him getting the shot.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov also said that Russia's vaccine production had not been enough to satisfy demand in its regions at the beginning of the year but production had since been ramped up.

Demand in Russia for the vaccine was increasing but it was not surging, he told reporters.

"Although of course, factors such as the president getting vaccinated are a good example for many, many citizens, at least we hope it will be," Peskov said.

"Now we've managed to increase production, and the growth rate will be ensured in the coming months and all domestic needs, which are an absolute priority, will be met," he told reporters on a conference call.

Putin said on Monday that the decision to get vaccinated was a purely voluntary one for Russians.

He said that 4.3 million Russians had so far got two shots of a vaccine, that vaccine production for domestic use was a priority, and that output needed to be increased.

Russia has a population of about 144 million.

The most well known Russian coronavirus vaccine is Sputnik V. Moscow has also given emergency approval to two others, EpiVacCorona and CoviVac.

(Reporting by Gleb Stolyarov; writing by Tom Balmforth; Editing by Andrew Osborn, Robert Birsel)