Putin touts Russia’s COVID-19 vaccine as effective and safe

MOSCOW (AP) — The Russian president  has praised a coronavirus vaccine that Russia approved for use earlier this month as effective and safe. The comments Thursday by Vladimir Putin sought to address international skepticism and unease about the shots that have only been studied for two months in a few dozen people. In an interview with the state Rossia 24 TV channel, Putin said the world’s first vaccine against the coronavirus to receive a government go-ahead was approved “in strict accordance with Russian laws” that are in line with international practice. International experts say any widely-used vaccine should first be tested in advanced trials involving tens of thousands of people to prove it is safe and effective before being licensed.