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Putin will be vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday in Russia.

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Putin will be vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday in Russia.
Putin will be vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday in Russia.

Putin will be vaccinated against the coronavirus on Tuesday in Russia.

 

President Vladimir Putin announced on Tuesday that he would receive a coronavirus vaccine injection, several months after the country’s universal vaccination program began.

Opponents of the Kremlin also chastised Putin for refusing to get vaccinated despite the vaccine’s relatively sluggish introduction in Russia, claiming that his hesitancy is adding to the vaccine’s already widespread skepticism. Russia lags behind a range of countries in terms of vaccination rates, with just 4.3 percent of the 146 million people receiving at least one dose.

According to surveys conducted by Russia’s leading independent pollster, the Levada Center, the number of Russians who are hesitant to get vaccinated with Sputnik V has increased in recent months, increasing to 62 percent in February from 58 percent in December. The Kremlin has stated that there is no connection between Putin’s refusal to be vaccinated and public confidence in the Russian COVID-19 vaccine.

Putin, 68, said he’ll get his coronavirus vaccine “tomorrow” at a meeting with government officials and vaccine developers on Monday, without mentioning which of the three coronavirus vaccines approved for use in Russia he’ll get.

Three domestically produced shots have received regulatory approval from Russian authorities. Sputnik V was accepted last August to great fanfare at home and widespread criticism abroad, despite the fact that it had only been tested on a few dozen people at the time.

However, according to a recent report published in the British medical journal The Lancet, the Sputnik V vaccine is 91 percent successful and appears to protect inoculated individuals from becoming seriously ill with COVID-19, but it is still uncertain if the vaccine will prevent the disease from spreading.

EpiVacCorona and CoviVac, two other Russian vaccines, have also gained regulatory approval ahead of late-stage trials that experts say are needed to ensure their safety and efficacy in accordance with existing clinical protocol. These trials are still underway for EpiVacCorona, although CoviVac was expected to start in March. There has been no information released on the effectiveness of these two vaccines.

Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, also declined to say which of the three he would pick on Tuesday, saying only that “all of them are fine and accurate.”

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, 6.3 million people have already received at least one injection, with over 4.3 million receiving two doses.

Putin said that in order to obtain herd immunity, 60 percent of Russian adults must be vaccinated, requiring 69.8 million vaccinations. According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, about 8.9 million two-dose sets of Sputnik V and over 115,000 two-dose sets of EpiVacCorona have been released into circulation in Russia as of March 17.

Putin said, “Today, we can confidently claim… that Russian vaccines are completely effective and secure.” “Our scientists and experts have achieved complete success.”

Why hasn’t the president been vaccinated yet? Putin and his spokesperson have been asked this question many times. Sputnik V was not recommended to citizens of a certain age, according to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who added that “vaccines have not yet reached people like me.”

The vaccine was only available to people aged 18 to 60 at the time, but Russian health authorities cleared the vaccine for those over 60 just two weeks after Putin’s remarks.

Putin decided to get vaccinated this year at the end of the summer or the beginning of the fall, according to Russia’s Kommersant newspaper. Putin reportedly told Russian media executives in a closed-door meeting that he didn’t want to do it for the sake of publicity in front of cameras and that he already had other vaccinations planned.

Peskov said on Monday that Putin’s vaccination on Tuesday will not be a “public event.”

Behind the slow launch at home, Russia has been aggressively marketing Sputnik V abroad, in what some observers see as a bid to score geopolitical points. Several countries have agreed to use Sputnik V and have signed agreements with Russia to receive shipments of the satellite. The vaccines’ export, however, has been delayed, raising concerns about Moscow’s ability to follow through on its commitments.

The Russian Direct Investment Fund, which funded the vaccine, signed agreements with pharmaceutical companies in several nations, including India, South Korea, Brazil, Turkey, and, most recently, Italy, in order to increase demand. On Monday, Putin claimed that such agreements amounted to 700 million vaccines per year.

“The use of the Russian Sputnik V is spreading across the globe. Despite deliberate discrediting of our vaccine, numerous hoaxes, and sometimes outright nonsense, more countries around the world are showing interest in our vaccine,” Putin said.

The Russian president took aim at European Union leaders, who have expressed reservations about using Sputnik V despite the bloc’s criticism for a sluggish vaccine rollout.

Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton, who heads the European Commission’s vaccine task force, told French television on Sunday that Sputnik V is “completely unnecessary” for the EU.

Putin dismissed the assertion as “bizarre,” arguing that Russia was “not forcing anything on anybody,” and questioned whether European officials defend the interests of “any pharmaceutical firms or the interests of European citizens.”

While Sputnik V has yet to be approved for use in the EU, the European Medicines Agency, or EMA, began a rolling review of the vaccine earlier this month.

Hungary became the first EU country to sanction Sputnik V for use last month, while Slovakia announced a deal last week to procure 2 million Sputnik V doses, sparking a political crisis in the country.

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St. Francois County residents say commission’s plan will ruin their neighborhood

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St. Francois County residents say commission’s plan will ruin their neighborhood

ST. FRANCOIS COUNTY, Mo. – Residents in St. Francois County have been against a plan by their local county commission, which they fear would change their quiet community to a busy thoroughfare.

The commission decided to use their street as a shortcut to a proposed new subdivision. They handed the land over to a developer to build the new road.

Residents called FOX 2 over the summer to spotlight this deal and our You Paid For It team went to take a look at the area near Desloge.

We caught up with the County Commission Presiding Commissioner Harold Gallaher. He told FOX 2 he was aware that residents didn’t like the plan but said the commission was pushing on with it anyway.

But since then a dramatic change.

The residents hired a lawyer who had residents do a title search. It revealed the county didn’t own what they thought was their right of way after all. So now the plan had to be scrapped. Residents said the developer had already started tearing up the ground to make way for the new road. Apparently, the county will have to pay to put it back like it was.

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Boat trapped on Chain of Rocks likely ‘sunk by storms’

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Boat trapped on Chain of Rocks likely ‘sunk by storms’

ST. LOUIS – After nearly a month trapped in the middle of the Mississippi River, the boat named the White Widow is now gone.

The tow company commissioned to remove it—TowBoat US—said the vessel is most likely now on the river floor.

“Until it shows up some time with low water or something, it’s probably going to be there forever because trying to find it is going to be pretty tough,” said Paul Hopkins, owner of TowBoat US and Port Charles Harbor.

TowBoat US waited three weeks for insurance approval to remove the boat but to no avail. But when the White Widow went missing Monday, they got the green light to search.

All they found was a dinghy.

They shared the news with the boat’s owner.

“He was watching the weather also and watching the river levels rising from the storms up north so he figured this would happen,” Hopkins said.

Since getting stuck, crowds of people have been visiting the riverbanks to see the boat for themselves.

“We were waiting for it to move, each time we came out we swore it looked like it moved a little more,” said tourist Terry Goette.

Hopkins said the boat is probably 15-20 feet high and the water is around 30 feet deep.

Now most likely swallowed up, with all the owner’s belongings in it, by the added rain totals.

“I wanted to come back and see what happens and see if we could catch them in the action of doing it, getting it out,” said tourist Bruce Graves.

Recovering the vessel at this point would be a tough job.

“You’d have to just search it with a sonar defender and look for a big object underwater, so if they wanted us to do that, we would do that, but otherwise we’d never know where it is,” Hopkins said.

As of right now, there are no more search efforts underway. It’s now up to the boat owner to move forward.

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Police admit to mistaking Roberta Laundrie for Brian Laundrie during week he disappeared

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Police admit to mistaking Roberta Laundrie for Brian Laundrie during week he disappeared

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – North Port Police Department officials have told WINK that investigators made mistakes in Brian Laundrie’s case. The department said they thought they were keeping a close eye on Laundrie before he went missing, but actually confused him for his mother.

According to the North Port Police Department, police started watching the Laundrie family home after Petito was reported missing. Officers reported seeing Brian Laundrie leave in a gray Mustang Sept. 13, but spokesperson Josh Taylor said he thinks they mistook Brian’s mother for her son when the Mustang returned on Sept. 15.

“When the family reported him [missing] on Friday that was certainly news to us that they had not seen him,” Taylor said. “We thought that we’d seen Brian initially come back into that home on that Wednesday.”

The Laundries initially said that they hadn’t seen Brian since Tuesday, but later changed their statement to Monday.

How the mixup happened is not entirely clear. Taylor said that Roberta Laundrie was wearing a baseball cap and that the two are “kind of built similarly.”

“They had returned from the park with that Mustang. So who does that? Right? Like, if you think your son’s missing since Tuesday, you’re going to bring his car back to the home. So it didn’t make sense that anyone would do that if he wasn’t there. So the individual getting out with a baseball cap we thought was Brian,” said Taylor.

During a North Port police news conference on Sept. 16, Chief Todd Garrison voiced his frustration with the lack of answers on Gabby Petito’s disappearance.

Garrison added that there was no criminality suspected in the case at the time, and police were only investigating a missing person case with the sole focus of finding Petito.

A reporter asked Chief Garrison at the news conference, “Do you know where Brian Laundrie is right now?” Garrison responded, “yes,” apparently thinking he was inside the family home.

The Laundries’ family attorney Steve Bertolino confirmed the next day that the whereabouts of their son were unknown.

That statement came after police spent more than two hours at the Laundrie family home, at the family’s request.

NewsNation’s Brian Entin reported that police had kept tabs on Laundrie before he disappeared by placing surveillance cameras around his family’s home, but they missed him leaving to go to the reserve. Authorities said the lack of charges against Laundrie prevented them from taking more drastic measures.

“What I’ll say is that we were the ones doing everything in our power to get answers on this. If mistakes were made, there’s human error involved in every investigation. It certainly wasn’t from a lack of taking it seriously or hustle or knowledge. Sometimes things happen,” Taylor said.

According to Bertolino, Brian’s parents are “grieving privately in Florida,” with their daughter Cassie. So far, they don’t have a formal funeral plan for Brian.

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