Rome, 27 October 2021 – Yesterday’s figures are still worrying even if they are down: just over 700 new cases of Sars-Cov-2 in a week when the average was 1337, and ten deaths. The total amount of the tax that Cuba – who is experiencing one of the most difficult and turbulent moments of his life from a political and social point of view – has paid for the pandemic since Coronavirus is of 948 thousand cases and 8201 deaths, including doctors and nurses of the Henry Reeve Brigade who intervened for their anti-infective capacity to treat the populations of 19 states, including Italy, at the most critical moment of the spread of the virus.
But the data it makes of Cuba a separate reality is the fact that on the island – 11 million inhabitants, under However Use since 1962, therefore, with difficulties in procuring raw material in every field – four vaccines have been developed (and the fifth is in progress) – made by local health facilities in authorized research institutes, all approved by the Cuban body and two of them in about to be judged also byWorld Health Organization. About 14 million doses of these vaccines have been administered and not only on Isla Grande, but in Venezuela, Vietnam and Iran. The local population has received the first dose in at least 50% of cases, a fact that puts Cuba at a great advantage over that group of poor countries where having a cure for the pandemic is very difficult.
Among other things, one of these vaccines, Abdala, has obtained the green light in Havana to be administered – the first in the world known – to children over 2 years of age. The others are the Soberana 1, 2 and Plus (developed by the Finlay de Vacunas Institute), while in Abdala (of the BioCubaFarma Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center) the scientists are trying to combine Mambisa, whose administration would be intranasal. In other cases, pediatric research has also advanced, a sign that the Cuban regime wants to give an important signal to the international community. And the researchers’ commitment has been full since March 2020, when the pandemic broke out. There have been many steps forward and the confidence of scientists – despite the living conditions being rather difficult especially due to the economic situation and the lack of tourists due to the many lockdowns – is growing, so much so that Vicente Vérez, director of Finlay, says that “We have the capacity to produce 100 million doses”.
a Italian researcher has been collaborating with Finlay since 2014 and is at the forefront of vaccine development. Fabrizio Chiodo, of the CNR of Pozzuoli, he is also a professor of chemistry atUniversity of Havana. So he explained what the serums produced on the island are in an interview with Vanity Fair: “The Cuban ones are all subunit vaccines, widely used in the clinic due to their relative simplicity of preparation and their safety profile, containing a fragment of the virus spike protein, called RBD. Unlike the best known Pfizer, Moderna, Astrazeneca and Sputnik, which are ‘genetic material’ as they carry the genetic information destined to produce the spike protein of the virus and, therefore, trigger the correct immune response ”.
Vaccine data appears high in studies that have been sent to WHO. As for the Soberana (word which in Spanish means sovereign), the three in the series have an efficacy of 91% on symptomatic cases of the disease, 100% on death and 62% in avoiding severe cases, a percentage that is above the 50 per center required to be discussed globally. As for the Abdala, a tweet from the CIGB reported with satisfaction that the vaccine “shows an efficacy of 92.28% in its 3-dose scheme”.
News that led the president of Cuba, Miguel Diaz-Canel, the first of the era after Castro, to declare that “this figure will multiply national pride”. And with pride, Cuban scientists underline the results of the virology laboratory of the Amedeo d’Aosta hospital in Turin, which collaborated in a delicate phase of the experiment.
The “Soberana Plus vaccine – says the laboratory led by Dr. Valeria Ghisetti – is projected into a particular strategic position, that is as a potential booster tool in subjects already vaccinated or who have overcome spontaneous infection in the past. The results demonstrated its high immunogenicity (greater than 96% presence of specific antibodies) and safety “.
“Hopefully, the entire Cuban population will be vaccinated this year,” said Vérez, who has been working in vaccines since 1980, which in most cases have eradicated deadly diseases from the island. Now with the anti Sars-Cov-2 vaccines, Cuba plays a strategic game in the world field, even if acquiring international buyers, especially Western ones, will be very difficult.
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