Cuba to start clinical trials for Covid-19 vaccine

Published Aug 22, 2020


DURBAN - Cuba has become the latest country to announce the start of clinical trials for Coronavirus, making it the first vaccine in Latin America to receive authorisation.

The vaccine called Sovereign 01 is developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute and the Center for Molecular Engineering of Cuba. Mass trials are expected to start from August 24 to January 11, 676 people will be studied, all volunteers between the ages of 19 and 80. The results of the study will be available on February 1, 2021.

Director of biomedical research at Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), Gerardo Guillen, said: “Cuban research is focused on developing vaccines using virus-resembling particles that are potentially able to activate and strengthen people's immune system. Such vaccines, which are usually administered after infection, are known as therapeutic vaccines.”

Media reports suggest that Cuba is among the group of nations that would be capable of jointly producing the coronavirus vaccine developed by Russian scientists, named Sputnik V. The country has so far been applauded on how they handled the pandemic. 3 408 cases were confirmed, with 2 794 recoveries and only 88 deaths.

President of the BioCubaFarma Eduardo Martínez, took to Twitter to announce the news: “Achieving an effective vaccine against Covid-19 is a priority for our entire science and innovation system at BioCubaFarma. Today we see how solid and accelerated progress has been made in this project in the Finlay Institute.”

The country is also continuing with its philanthropic efforts, this week a medical brigade made up of 20 doctors from different specialists arrived in Eswatini. This is the 46th Cuban medical brigade that is deployed to other parts of the world to face the pandemic. Since the outbreak of this deadly disease, 39 countries have benefited from Cuban medical services.

In April, about 200 Cuban healthcare workers arrived in South Africa to help fight Covid-19, the team included qualified biostatisticians, epidemiologists, family physicians and health technologists.

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