Judo Olympian Valerios Aslanidis is the first Greek to get the Russian COVID-19 vaccine in Moscow and spoke with Sputnik Hellas about his experience.
Aslanidis became the first Greek to try the Russian vaccine against COVID-19. The president of the Greek community of Anapa revealed to Sputnik Hellas that a friend urged him to get the vaccine and immediately took the first plane to Moscow.
“They checked everything for me before the vaccine”
The 67-year-old Pontian lives permanently in Anapa, Russia, where he has his own vineyard with the wine called “Old Greek ” and is currently at home, after receiving the vaccine five days ago.
“I got the vaccine in Moscow four days ago. A friend of mine from wrestling, a champion of the Soviet Union, called me and told me to get the vaccine whenever I wanted. I immediately got a plane ticket to Moscow and went to the center. It was a wonderful center and they did all the necessary exams for me. They checked me everywhere, they looked at my blood, my antibodies, I did a coronavirus test, they checked my lungs. Everything. After two hours, after they saw that I was fine, they gave me the vaccine. We went to the room that had a security door and had a refrigerator with a temperature of -32 degrees. They showed me the vaccine that was frozen and melted it, because it must be at -18 to be done. And they gave me the vaccine. Then I went to the doctor to sit for 30 minutes,” he said.
“On the 21st day after the first vaccine, you do the second”
Aslanidis told Sputnik Hellas about the whole process that followed after the vaccine and what the doctors advised him to watch out for, so that after three weeks he can do the second dose.
“The doctor asked me how I was. I was fine and he kicked me out. He told me to keep texting him how I am, if I have a fever, if my hand hurts, if I have anything in general. He took my temperature five or six times everyday and I had absolutely nothing. I was like I was before the vaccine. Then he told me to go again in two weeks to see the antibodies from the first vaccine again. If all goes well, then on the 21st day after the first vaccination, you do the second. The first vaccine lasts you three to six months and the second two years or more. The first vaccine is for how you feel and then you go for the second. The vaccine, according to the instructions, says that those who are 60 years old to do it, and I am 67, but I have nothing “, the Judo Olympian emphasizes.
“It’s not as easy as the flu vaccine”
The former world champion, after completing his athletic career, decided to dedicate himself to what he loved and created the traditional vineyard of the “Old Greek” in the Pontic village of Vitiazevo in Anapa and is in fact one of the most prominent citizens. That was one of the first reasons the vaccine was given.
“Where I got the vaccine, it was made by ministers, deputy ministers and Putin’s friends. All his own people. Only 12,000 have been vaccinated in Russia, according to statistics, and more will be done in November. It is not as easy as the flu vaccine. They have to test you. If you have heart problems, if you have antibodies and more, you cannot get the vaccine. It is not free to be able to get the vaccine yet. You have to have friends. Putin’s relatives, eight people did it and they are all fine. I did not pay anything, I did it for free,” he pointed out.
“The vaccine kills the coronavirus”
Many people are afraid to take the risk and get the vaccine now, but Aslanidis is not one of them:
“I was not afraid. What should I be afraid of? After the 21 days that will pass, I will see how it evolved and I will recommend it to others. Now I’m fine, I was not in pain at all, I did not have a fever, nothing. A month ago I also got the flu vaccine. In Russia they have new technology, the coronavirus kills the vaccine, it does not allow it to penetrate deeper into the body. And all my friends who did it are fine.”
“The coronavirus did not come for a few months and we have to get the vaccine”
Aslanidis is a patriarch for the Pontians of the region and managed to unite them and advises everyone about the vaccine:
“The coronavirus did not come for a few months, but it will last a long time and we have to get the vaccine. It is not only possible to live with masks and not go to work. The doctors told me for the first two weeks to be careful not to get sick. Then I will be free, neither masks nor anything. My friends who have done it do not wear masks. I tell you again, I’m fine. Be careful and always with health to everyone,” he concluded.
George Vrontakis is a correspondent for Sputnik Hellas