Why the success of Cuba’s extraordinary Covid vaccine can bring the highest hope to the south of the world


Workers will transport the shipment of the Cuban Soberana Plus vaccine against the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 donated by the Cuban government to Syria at Jose Marti International Airport in Havana on January 7, 2022.

YAMIL LAGE | AFP | Getty Images

Cuba vaccinates Covid-19 for the majority of its population, rather than almost all of the world’s largest and wealthiest countries. In fact, only the oil-rich United Arab Emirates boasts stronger immunization records.

A small Caribbean island run by the Communists has achieved this milestone. By manufacturing your own Covid vaccineDespite struggling to keep inventories on supermarket shelves during the US sanctions decades ago.

“It’s an incredible achievement,” Helen Jaffe, a Cuban expert and lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow in Scotland, told CNBC over the phone.

“Our people who have studied biotechnology are not surprised in that sense, because it is not just a success. It is a national investment in the sector in both public health and medical care. The product of conscious government policy. Science. “

To date, official statistics show that about 86% of the Cuban population has been fully vaccinated against Covid in three doses, and an additional 7% have been partially vaccinated against the disease. .. Edited By the data of our world.

These numbers include children from the age of 2 who started vaccination a few months ago. National health officials are rolling out booster shots to the entire population this month to limit the spread of highly infectious variants of Omicroncovid.

Approximately 11 million countries are the only countries to make homemade shots of Covid in Latin America and the Caribbean.

John Kirk, Professor Emeritus of the Latin American Program at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, told CNBC: phone.

I think it is clear that many countries and populations in the southern part of the world see Cuban vaccines as their best hope for vaccination by 2025.

Helen Joffe

Lecturer of Economic and Social History, University of Glasgow,

Cuba’s prestigious biotechnology division has developed five Covid vaccines, including Abdala, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus. All of these, according to Cuba, provide over 90% protection against symptomatic Covid in three doses.

Cuba’s vaccine clinical trial data has not yet undergone international peer-reviewed science, but the country has two hypothetical information exchanges with the World Health Organization. Start the vaccine emergency use list process.

Unlike major US pharmaceutical companies Pfizer When ModanaAll Cuban vaccines that use mRNA technology are subunit protein vaccines such as the Novavax vaccine. Importantly, for low-income countries, they can be manufactured cheaply, on a large scale, and do not require quick freezing.

It urged international health authorities to promote shots as a potential source of hope in the southern part of the world, especially as low vaccination rates continue. For example, about 70% of European Union people are completely vaccinated, Less than 10% Part of Africa’s population is fully vaccinated.

However, WHO may have to approve a Cuban vaccine in order to expect this to happen. The WHO review process includes an assessment of the production facility where the vaccine is being developed. It states that Cuban health authorities are slowing progress.

Vicente Velez, director of the Finley Vaccine Institute in Cuba, quoted Reuters last month on the costly process by which the United Nations Health Agency upgrades its manufacturing facilities to “first world standards.” Said.

Verez previously stated that the required documents and data will be submitted to WHO in the first quarter of 2022. Approval from WHO is an important step in making shots available worldwide.

“Very important”

When asked what it means for low-income countries if WHO approves the Covid vaccine in Cuba, Jaffe said: .. “

“And in fact, it affects all of us, because what we see in Omicron variants is that what happens when the vast population is barely covered is that you are mutated. We are developing a new variant. We are hoarding vaccines. “

In the midst of a COVID-19 pandemic in Havana, Cuba on October 2, 2021, a man is walking down the street wearing a face mask.

Joaquin Hernandez | Xinhua News Agency | Getty Images

Last year, WHO said it is likely that there are sufficient doses of the Covid vaccine in the world to fully inoculate the entire adult population of the world. High-income countries do not have the vaccines used in booster programs.

In addition to industry associations in the pharmaceutical industry, it includes many Western countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom and Japan. Actively block patent waiver proposals Designed to boost the global production of Covid vaccines.

The urgency of abandoning certain intellectual property rights in a pandemic is the urgency of WHO, health professionals, civil society groups, trade unions, former world leaders, international medical charity organizations, Nobel laureates, human rights groups. Has been repeatedly emphasized by.

Lack of vaccine hesitation

The 7-day average of Covid cases per day in Cuba rose to 2,063 as of January 11. This reflects a nearly 10-fold increase from the end of December as Omicron variants spread.

This is due to the surge in the number of cases of Omicroncovid in countries and regions in the Americas. The Pan Am Health Organization, WHO’s regional US office, warns that an increase in cases could lead to increased hospitalizations and deaths in the coming weeks.

PAHO has called on countries to expand the scope of vaccination to reduce Covid infections and has repeatedly recommended public health measures such as tight-fitting masks, which is a mandatory requirement in Cuba.

Yaffe has long been confident in Cuba’s ability to boast one of the strongest vaccination records in the world.Talked to CNBC last February — before the country developed a homemade vaccine — she said she could “guarantee” Cuba will be able to administer the domestic Covid vaccine very quickly.

“That wasn’t a guess,” Yaffe said. “It was based on an understanding of their public health system and its structure, so the fact that they have what they call a family doctor and nurse clinic in every neighborhood.”

Students accompanied by their mother were vaccinated with the Soberana 2 vaccine against the new coronavirus disease COVID-19 developed in Cuba at the Bolivar Education Center in Caracas, Venezuela on December 13, 2021.

Pedro Rances Mattey | Anadolu Agency | Getty Images

Many of these clinics are located in rural areas, difficult to reach, which means that health authorities can quickly deliver vaccines to the island’s inhabitants.

“Another aspect is the lack of vaccine repellent, which is common in many countries,” said Yaffe.

Why the success of Cuba’s extraordinary Covid vaccine can bring the highest hope to the south of the world

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The post Why the success of Cuba’s extraordinary Covid vaccine can bring the highest hope to the south of the world appeared first on Eminetra.


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