A new three-shot Cuban vaccine against coronavirus has proved to be 92.28% effective and is one of the world’s best, according to its makers. The Abdala vaccine is in the last stage of its clinical trials but results are promising and are being hailed as a success.
The announcement comes a few days after the government said another Cuban vaccine, Soberana 2, had been found to be 62% effective with two of its three doses. The World Health Organization (WHO) has set a 50 per cent efficacy threshold for coronavirus vaccines to offer protection against the virus or disease.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel tweeted: “Hit by the pandemic, our scientists at the Finlay Institute and Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology have risen above all the obstacles and given us two very effective vaccines.”
He also said the news was an achievement that “will multiply pride” in the nation.
The announcement was made by state-run BioCubaFarma, which oversees Finlay, the maker of Soberana 2, and the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the producer of the Abdala vaccine.
Both vaccines are expected to be granted emergency authority by regulators and there is demand from other countries for the Cuban vaccines.
So far, Jamaica, Mexico, Argentina and Venezuela have already expressed a keen interest in buying the vaccines, which would generate millions for the Caribbean’s largest country. Vietnam has also said they would buy vaccines from Cuba.
Haiti and Cuba are the only countries in the Caribbean who have not purchased a vaccine from international companies like Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson and Johnson. The decision was criticised by some as “risky”. Cuba has been hit hard by the pandemic –with five variants of coronavirus detected on the island. But Cuba, who have been under American sanctions, were adamant they wanted to invest in resources, medical and scientific research to try and create their own vaccine.
The country has an impressive medical reputation and is often the first respondents when natural disasters occur in the Caribbean and around the world.
They have a long history of producing their own vaccines since in 1980s and now this latest breakthrough could prove very lucrative.
Cuba is on its way to becoming the first country in the Caribbean to formulate and use its own vaccine. They are not part of Covax, which is an international programme to help deprived countries vaccinate their citizens with World Health Organisation-approved vaccines.
Since last August, Cuba has announced they have developed five vaccines: Soberana 01, Soberana 02, Mambisa, Abdala and Soberana Plus. Two of the vaccines have been rolled out as part of their attempts to stop the spread of Covid-19. The Soberana 02 and Abdala have been tested on about 80,000 people in Cuba’s two main cities of Havana and Santiago over the last few months.
The news of Cuba’s achievement delighted social media users.
On Twitter, @SlimJosa tweeted: “I don’t think some of you understand the sheer magnitude of this news.
“Cuba is currently experiencing their worst outbreak of the pandemic and the embargo has cut them off from vital resources for recover.”
“This vaccine will save SO many lives and they did it all n their own!”
With a population of 11.2 million people Cuba, has the largest population in the Caribbean. Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, they have reported a total of 169,365 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 1,170 deaths.
On Monday, they reported 1,561 new infections.
This article was originally published at The Voice UK and is reproduced without any modifications except the headline and picture may have been reworked by ApaNa staff.