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COVID-19 vaccine development may turn into an ideological race, say experts

Specialists all over the world work on almost 119 vaccine projects, out of which only nine projects from Canada, the US, China and the UK advanced to the clinical testing stage

BELGRADE, April 30. /TASS/. Developing a coronavirus vaccine may turn into an ideological race between the world’s leading powers, says a collective statement of the Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals, an organization of Serbian diplomats, political scientists, and military and medical officers, obtained by TASS Thursday.

"With a few exceptions, humanity did not show any significant feats of solidarity in fighting against the COVID-19 pandemic, [humanity’s] western part — especially so," the statement reads.

The organization’s representatives expressed their concerns that a "race to find a vaccine" would begin soon, which may turn into an ideological war. “Those who find the vaccine first, will have more success convincing others that his vaccine is better than [that of] the others."

According to the experts, it is possible that "propaganda, not the vaccine’s quality, will shape" the balance of world powers after the pandemic.

The Belgrade Forum for the World of Equals is an expert club, created in 2000 that analyses events in Serbia, in the Balkans and throughout the entire world. It is currently presided over by one of its co-founders, former Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Zivadin Jovanovic.

Earlier, Serbian Minister of Labor, Employment and Social Affairs Zoran Djordjevic told TASS that Serbian authorities do not rule out a second wave of the coronavirus infection until a vaccine is found. The total coronavirus case count in Serbia is 8,724, the total fatality count is 173. Serbia has completely sealed off its borders, introduced a state of emergency and a curfew, and cancelled its parliamentary elections.

Specialists all over the world are working on almost 120 coronavirus vaccine projects. Out of 119 projects, only nine projects from Canada, the US, China and the UK advanced to the clinical testing stage. Chinese specialists managed to enter the second stage of clinical testing. In the meantime, BRICS members have agreed to work on a vaccine together. In Russia, the vaccine is being developed by the Lomonosov State University, the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Siberian Division and the State Research Center of Virology and Biotechnology ‘Vector,’ that signed an agreement to join their efforts.

Last week, the World Health Organization launched a new international initiative to speed up the development of coronavirus infection diagnosis and treatment technologies, called Access to COVID-19 Tools Accelerator, or ACT Accelerator. The WHO believes that a vaccine could be developed in less than one year.