President Vladimir Putin presents an extraordinary gift to celebrate the seventy-fifth anniversary of the United Nations so that UN employees in New York and around the world face this choice now, after the Russian President on Tuesday offered to provide them with the Sputnik-V vaccine in a speech he delivered to this year's General Assembly on the occasion of the birthday of the body Seventy-fifth.
The results of only small early studies of the Russian vaccine have been published, raising concerns among some scientists that the vaccine is not yet ready for widespread use - and sparking memes around the world about possible strange side effects.
"Any one of us may face this dangerous virus. The virus has not been spared from United Nations personnel, its headquarters and regional entities," Putin said in a pre-recorded speech from Moscow. The coronavirus pandemic means that this year's General Assembly is producing work from home, for the first time in its history.
"Russia is ready to provide the necessary and qualified assistance to the United Nations workers, and in particular we propose to provide our vaccine free of charge to the staff of the organization and its affiliates who volunteer for vaccination," Putin, who announced the vaccine with widespread fanfare recently said. Al-Shahr said his daughter was among those who took her.
He described Tuesday's offer as a response to a popular demand: "Some colleagues in the United Nations have asked about that, and we will not remain indifferent to them."
United Nations staff did not immediately say whether they would accept him for the offer. At the United Nations Medical Agency in Geneva, WHO spokeswoman Dr. Margaret Harris declined to comment.
In a report published in The Lancet, Russian vaccine developers said it appeared to be safe and stimulates an antibody response in all 40 people tested in the second phase of the study within three weeks. However, the authors note that the participants were only followed for 42 days, the study sample was small and no placebo or control vaccine was used.