Russian officials should try to convince people to sign up for vaccinations before they talk about forcing them to roll up their sleeves, President Vladimir Putin has said, as the country grapples with more Covid-19 deaths.

Speaking on Sunday at a virtual meeting with Francesco Rocca, the head of the Red Cross, Putin declared that immunizing the public is “the most important task” politicians now face during the pandemic.

“We are trying to follow a path of persuasion rather than of compulsion,” the president said, commenting on the approach to get jabs in arms across the world’s largest country. “We are trying to combat biased views and prejudices against vaccination.” (RT)