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Cuba’s race for sovereignty



Despite the deteriorating economic situation and the increased sanctions by the United States, the island controlled by the Communist Party has so far not had a feat that other Latin American countries can claim: five Covid-19 vaccines have been developed, two of which are in the final phase three trials.

As the number of coronavirus cases on the island continues to increase, its vaccine candidates and the island’s desire to become a biomedical power will be tested. On Wednesday, Cuba set a grim new record for Covid-19 infection, with 1,051 new cases diagnosed within 24 hours.

Cuban officials announced in March that they are expanding the vaccine trials already underway to include thousands of more people. In the expanded trial, the first is 1

50,000 frontline workers, including dentist Ida Martínez Hernández, who was sent by the government to help fight the spread of the virus at the beginning of the pandemic.

“We have been working hard. At the airport, testing in the isolation center. We are high-risk personnel, which will provide us with more protection,” Martinez told CNN when he received the first shot from Cuba. The growing Soberana-02 vaccine means “sovereignty” in Spanish.

In times of crisis, the Cuban government often feudalizes the people in order to perform seemingly impractical tasks, from trying to reduce record sugar cane harvests to mass demonstrations demanding Elían González’s return. .

Now, while Cuba is enduring shortages of food and essential medicines, the island’s government has also set its sights on the development of a complex Covid-19 vaccine, which has gone far beyond rich countries.

Cuban frontline health care workers in Havana received the first shot of the island’s Soberana-02 Covid-19 vaccine candidate on Wednesday as part of the third phase of the trial that began on March 3.

Although the final test results of the two most advanced vaccines are not expected to last for several months, some vaccines on the island have already achieved early victories. A glamorous video broadcast by Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel on Twitter declared that what Cubans produced was “not just a vaccine, but a country”.

Cuban music superstar duo Buena Fe wrote a song about vaccines, which reduced the drug oon to “the brave David faces the giant who bullied the giant”.

Putting aside the sensation and political factors, some researchers say that Cuba is urgently needed to adopt its own vaccine production method, which may be used in the arms of every Cuban and millions of others in the region.

“Latin America unfortunately lacks such a self-sufficient ecosystem. Cuba is ideal because they have their own production capacity, are well recognized, and enjoy a good reputation,” the organization’s deputy director Maria A. Said Dr. Maria Elena Bottazzi. The National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

Cuba has been isolated from many other places in the world for a long time. For decades, Cuba has manufactured many medicines needed by the island and has increasingly exported Cuban-produced vaccines abroad. During the pandemic, Cuba was one of the few developing countries that could produce vaccines on its own.

Other countries, especially those that cannot afford vaccines-or do not want to accept vaccines from Western countries for political reasons-hope that the cheap and easy-to-storable vaccine promised by Cuba can make up for this difference.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamanei, banned the use of US and British vaccines. Iran is currently using 100,000 doses of Soberana-02 for large-scale trials and may start production in the Islamic Republic Cuban vaccine.

In March of this year, Cuba announced that it would send 30,000 doses of Soberana-02 and Abdala vaccine candidates to Venezuela, its socialist ally. Cuban and Chinese scientists will jointly develop a vaccine against the emerging strain of coronavirus.

Cuba has made a full bet on the pandemic on its own spontaneous vaccines, and now the island is doubling the bet by expanding testing for these drugs on a large scale.

On March 24, in Havana, Cuba, medical staff sat in the corridor waiting for the Soberana-02 Covid-19 vaccine.
On March 24, in Havana, Cuba, a nurse vaccinated medical staff with a certain dose of Soberana-02 COVID-19 vaccine.

In March of this year, Cuban officials said that a broader trial of intervention would include the entire adult population of Havana, nearly two million people, and the epicenter of the virus on the island. Officials say that by August, half of the island’s population, about six million, will receive the vaccine.

However, carrying out mass vaccination so quickly is a risky strategy, and if the candidate vaccine proves to be less effective than Cuban scientists expected, it may be counterproductive. Although previous tests have shown the safety of the vaccine, Cuban researchers have not yet determined exactly how effective the vaccine is.

Amílcar Pérez Riverol, a former professor of microbiology and virology at the University of Havana, wrote on Facebook: “Cuban vaccines have not even completed the third phase of the vaccination plan for volunteers. We don’t know their efficacy.” Follow Cuba’s vaccine work.

But in a clinic in Havana, doctors and nurses have to take about 100 doses of Soberana-02 to front-line workers every day. The management said that they did not observe serious side effects during the extended trial, and it is certain that increased vaccination will help reverse this. This situation. The pandemic on the island.

Nurse Norma Olivares (Norma Olivares) said: “We all believe that this vaccine can work and that the vaccine can generate immunity.”


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