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      Russia offers its untested COVID-19 vaccine for free to UN officials

      Beth Mole · / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 23 September, 2020 - 22:59

    A smirking man in a suit sits in front of a UN flag.

    Enlarge / Russian President Vladimir Putin address the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly, via teleconference call, in Moscow on September 22, 2020. (credit: Getty | MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV )

    Some United Nations staff are likely brushing up on their Russian—specifically how to say “Thanks, but no thanks” in the nicest way possible.

    On Tuesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin offered UN staff free doses of the country’s COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, which has not completed clinical trials for efficacy and has not been thoroughly vetted for safety.

    Still, Putin suggested that his offer was prompted by the desire to give the people what they want: “Some colleagues from the UN have asked about this, and we will not remain indifferent to them,” he said during a speech Tuesday at this year’s (virtual) General Assembly.

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