Asked whether he would like to get personally inoculated with the Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Assad replied: "Of course, in these circumstances, anyone would love to be vaccinated against this dangerous virus".
Syria's leader has also said that Damascus is going to discuss the procurement of a larger vaccine supply for the Syrian market with the Russian authorities, describing the matter as "very important".
"I think [the vaccine] is not available for the international market yet, but we are going to discuss it with the Russian authorities when it's available internationally to have vaccines for the Syrian market. It's very important", he said, adding that "it’s a necessity at these times."
Citing the Russian authorities as saying that the vaccine will become available for external purchase in November, the Syrian president said Damascus would "definitely" negotiate procurement with Moscow in detail.
"Everybody in Syria is asking about the Russian vaccine and when it's going to be available", Assad said.
Asked to specify the intended amount of the purchase, the Syrian president said: "That depends on how much is available and we have to discuss the amount that we need with the health authority in Syria."
On 11 August the Russian government officially registered the world's first vaccine, labelled Sputnik V, currently completing the third phase of clinical trials as per the World Health Organisation protocols. Several other countries have followed the lead and announced they would fast-track the registration of their COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use.