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The Editors

Lessons From Russia’s Coronavirus Vaccine Stumble

The Sputnik V vaccine hasn’t lived up to its creators’ hopes. But it might still be possible to salvage the much-needed jab from Russia’s campaign of sound and fury.

Sputnik, adrift.

Sputnik, adrift.

Photographer: T. Narayan/Bloomberg

Russia claimed victory in the Covid-19 vaccine race a year ago, but is still waiting to reap the glory. At home, hesitancy means only about one in four Russians is fully inoculated and the pace of vaccination has slowed even as deaths hover around daily records. Abroad, production hiccups have hampered deliveries to countries such as Argentina. Over the entire enterprise hangs a long list of unanswered questions.

There’s still time for Moscow to secure a measure of success and help a vaccine-starved, variant-afflicted world as well. Every shot is needed. But first the Kremlin needs to recognize the benefits of vaccine glasnost.