‘Cuba will be able to immunize its entire population in 2021’

Jan 26, 2021, 12:33 PM

Cuba prepares 100 million doses of vaccine against Covid-19

Havana, Jan 24 (RT) – "Our four vaccine candidates against the new coronavirus are very safe, the trials are going well," said Eduardo Martínez Díaz, president of BioCubaFarma, the business group for the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries of the Caribbean island.

In what phases are the trials of vaccine candidates? What results have the drugs developed in Cuba given in order to face the pandemic?

For Eduardo Martínez Díaz, the business group of the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries of Cuba, the systematic collaboration between the State authorities and its scientific community in the fight against the pandemic explains the success obtained in the development of immunizing treatments against the new coronavirus.

In this sense, Martínez Díaz pointed out in an interview with RT that the "four vaccine candidates" that are being developed on the island to combat Covid-19 are "very safe" and that "the trials are going well."

"We Cubans have vaccination coverage close to 100% thanks to the fact that we manufacture our own vaccines at costs that make it viable"

Cuba has four projects for vaccines against the coronavirus. These are the "Soberana 01", "Soberana 02", "Abdala", and the immunizing nasal spray "Mambisa". The most advanced development corresponds to “Soberana 02”, which has already passed phase II-b of its trials and hopes to be able to move on to phase III in the month of March, to begin the last tests before its sanitary application with the participation of 150,000 volunteers.

How is Nasalferon supplied, the nasal drops that Cuba applies to travelers to prevent Covid-19?

"Based on the results obtained, and knowing those of other vaccines at an international level, we could also aspire to an emergency use, to begin mass vaccinations for people at higher risk," said the president of BioCubaFarma.

- A question of sovereignty

One of the main reasons why Cuba has launched itself with such determination to develop its own projects is, in the words of Martínez Díaz, "how expensive it is to purchase vaccines" produced abroad. But the deep reason, he adds, is that the country "long ago chose to have sovereignty."

"Our country is characterized by a vaccination coverage of almost 100%," says the business leader, who attributes this high level to a fact: "Being able to manufacture our own vaccines at costs that make it possible to have such large coverage" .

"Despite the difficulties that exist due to the blockade, Cuba will be one of the first countries that will be able to immunize its entire population," he emphasizes.

"In the case of this virus - Martínez Díaz continued - it happens that there are not enough vaccines: there are many countries that have started immunization programs with very few and very expensive vaccines, at prices that are excessive for us to vaccinate 10 or 11 million Cubans who decide to get vaccinated. "

"That is why the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel has asked us to work in an accelerated manner to have sovereignty also in this vaccine," added the interviewee.

Martínez Díaz and the teams in his charge are "convinced" that this way of undertaking the fight against the pandemic will allow, "despite the difficulties that exist due to the blockade", to make Cuba "one of the first countries, if not the first, which will be able to immunize its entire population. " "And he will do it in 2021," he reiterated.