23:12 GMT28 November 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Former Uruguayan President Jose Mujica has told Sputnik he isn't surprised by Russia's progress in the development of vaccines against COVID-19 and also expressed hope for scaled-up production of efficient vaccines.

    "It does not surprise me that Russia has made progress in this matter because the person who discovered the viruses was a Russian. I hope that a Russian vaccine or another one that appears can be mass produced if it works", Mujica said.

    The retired politician also warned that there is a "dirty" struggle around anti-COVID vaccines, noting that the interests of some powerful market players are driving researchers far from "applying scientific criteria".

    Uruguay's President Jose Mujica
    © AP Photo / Matilde Campodonico
    Uruguay's President Jose Mujica

    He also noted that the poorest countries will be the first ones to pay the cost of the coronavirus pandemic, with the problems that they are already facing only set to worsen.

    "We are going to get poorer. What about market economies? Those who suffer the most are the poorest. The cost of the pandemic will be borne by the weakest countries. The problems that we already have are going to increase", Mujica noted.

    In August, Russia became the first country in the world to register a vaccine against the coronavirus. The vaccine, dubbed Sputnik V and developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, is currently undergoing phase 3 clinical trials. Earlier this fall, Russia registered a second vaccine, EpiVacCorona, which was developed by the State Research Centre Vector.

    Jose Mujica, Sputnik V, vaccine, vaccine, coronavirus, COVID-19
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