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Cuba begins trials of its vaccine against COVID-19

Cuba will begin the first stage of the clinical trial of a possible vaccine against the new coronavirus on August 24 and the results should be ready in February, according to an official registry.

The prophylactic drug against COVID-19 will bear the name of Soberana 01 and the investigation “has the purpose of evaluating the safety, reactogenicity and immunogenicity in a two-dose scheme,” indicated the file of the Cuban Public Registry of Clinical Trials released on Tuesday in official media.

This stage of the research covers its application to 676 people between 18 and 80 years of age under the control of the state-run Finlay Vaccine Institute.

The trial should end on January 11 and its results will be published on February 15, the document said.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel met with Vicente Vérez, director of the Finlay Institute and a renowned creator of vaccines, to learn about the advances of the drug, indicated the official website Cubadebate.

Cuba managed to control the spread of COVID-19 at the end of June, but is currently suffering an outbreak that has particularly affected the west of the island where the capital is located, thus tightening mobility restrictions in the area.

On Tuesday 44 new cases were reported for a total of 3,408 infected people, as well as 88 deaths.

In these months, the island developed a very active program for isolating suspected cases, applying diagnostic tests and searching house-to-house for people with symptoms. In addition, classes and public transport were suspended, shops were closed and commercial flights canceled, among other measures.

Last week it was also reported that the island reached an agreement with Russia to manufacture the Sputnik V vaccine, one of the first to be registered.

Both the Cuban vaccine and the one presented in Russia must be validated in a third phase of trials before obtaining full approval.

The World Health Organization stated that all potential vaccines must complete all trial phases before being distributed.

According to experts, Cuba has an important scientific center with high-level professionals and manufactures 80% of the vaccines in its national immunization program.


Andrea Rodríguez is on Twitter: