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Jim Cramer Wouldn't Take Putin's Word on Russian Coronavirus Vaccine

Here's why Jim Cramer doesn't think a Russian vaccine can be further along than Johnson & Johnson.

Russia is the first country in the world to formally approve a vaccine against the coronavirus, marking a new chapter in the global race toward finding a viable antidote to fight the deadly pathogen. Stocks surged higher on the news, though ETF Focus noted a vaccine could be bad news for gold.

Russian President Vladimir Putin announced Tuesday that Russia's health care regulator approved a COVID-19 vaccine, though the vaccine has yet to complete clinical trials and no information about any late-phase testing has been published.

Speaking at a government meeting Tuesday, Putin said that the vaccine has undergone proper testing and is safe.

“I know it has proven efficient and forms a stable immunity, and I would like to repeat that it has passed all the necessary tests,” he said. “We must be grateful to those who made that first step very important for our country and the entire world."

The Russian leader added that one of his two adult daughters has received two shots of the vaccine. “She has taken part in the experiment,” Putin said, not naming which of his two daughters had been inoculated.

While markets found reason to be optimistic, Jim Cramer said Putin's track record leaves him feeling more positive about the chances for a Johnson & Johnson vaccine. 

When the pandemic struck Russia, Putin ordered state officials to shorten the time of clinical trials for potential coronavirus vaccines. Russia has registered 890,799 coronavirus cases, including 14,973 deaths, according to John Hopkins University.

Worldwide, there are over 20 million cases of the coronavirus, with over 736,000 deaths.

According to Johns Hopkins, the U.S. has surpassed 5 million cases with over 163,000 deaths. 

You can follow Jim Cramer and Katherine Ross on Twitter at @JimCramer and @byKatherineRoss. Read more from Katherine Ross here.

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