Science and politics tied up in global race for a vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin’s announcement that his country is the first to approve a coronavirus vaccine hasn’t provoked the awe and wonder of the Soviet Union’s launch of the first satellite into orbit in 1957. Instead the claim is being met by doubts about the science and safety of the vaccine. The competition to have the first vaccine is about international rivalries as well as science. The first nation to develop a way to defeat the coronavirus will achieve a kind of moonshot victory and the global status that goes along with such a breakthrough. That’s valuable to Putin amid a stagnant economy and the ravages of the outbreak.