This Friday, Cuba donated a batch of 458,000 doses of its Soberana 02 COVID-19 vaccine to the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), destined for the pediatric population of that country.
The African nation’s ambassador accredited in Havana, Mohamed Salec Abdesamad, praised the gesture on behalf of his people and government at a ceremony held at the Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV), creator of the immunogen, in Cuba’s capital.
The diplomat thanked Cuba’s President Miguel Díaz-Canel and all of Cuba, on behalf of the president of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Secretary General of the Polisario Front, Brahim Gali.
Mohamed Salec Abdesamad assured that the doses will benefit the refugee population and residents in liberated territories.
Clinical trials of Soberana 02, administered in two doses, indicate effectiveness of 62%, thus surpassing the World Health Organization’s requirement of 50% for an anti-COVID candidate to be recognized as a vaccine
There is a small island country, bathed in the waters of the Caribbean. A country as small as David, with the same courage when the time comes to face a giant. A small country that has struggled and struggles. A small country dressed in olive green.
A country with sons and daughters who wage their battle looking into a microscope, wearing a white lab coat.
A country that has achieved an epic feat, an incalculable, healing feat. What vision to have bet on our own vaccines!
There is a country which, like the world, is confronting an invisible enemy, but our country, our island, must also face a siege, break blockades, invent marvels with our hands practically tied.
A country that rises to the occasion, despite the obstacles. A country working nights in laboratories, in search of the miraculous elixir.
There is a country that, against all odds, now has a vaccine: Soberana.
Today, the flag waves more beautifully than ever and our chests can barely hold the pride,
There is a country within a vial. With every dose sporting a beard and smelling of the Sierra Maestra.
Cuba’s emergency rollout of two homegrown vaccines last month has awed the world. For a developing country the size of the US State of Tennessee, it is quite a feat. The achievement is all the more significant when we consider the enormous difficulties caused by the US blockade which restricts access to high-technology equipment, state-of-the-art technologies and good-quality raw materials and reagents. Even when they are available, they are expensive. Cuba’s success in producing COVID-19 vaccines not only reiterates its scientific prowess but is also a testimony to its political approach to health — keeping it people-centric, ensuring mass scaling up and distribution, and using collaborative, rather than competitive, research methods.
Cuba has four vaccines and one booster shot in different clinical trial stages. Of those, Abdala has finished phase-3 clinical trials, and the trials for Soberana 02 should conclude by this month. Both trials enrolled nearly 45,000 volunteers. The placebo arm was kept small due to the pandemic situation, and those volunteers are now also being vaccinated. The vaccines are expected to get full regulatory approval in the next couple of months.
Expanded phase II B clinical trials of Cuba’s anti-COVID-19 candidate vaccine Soberana 02 with volunteers between 19 and 80 years of age, began at the 19 de Abril and No.1 Polyclinics, in the Havana municipalities of Plaza de la Revolución and La Lisa, respectively.
For the purpose of evaluating reactions, safety and immunogenicity of the candidate, created by the Finlay Vaccine Institute, volunteers will receive two doses of the drug, administered intramuscularly, and results will be compared to those from a placebo control group.Read More »