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Cuba begins mass vaccination program with own vaccines

Cuba — Earlier this week, Cuba began its massive covid vaccination campaign with its own vaccines. Abdala and Soberano 02 are two of the government vaccines being used to inoculate the island’s population.

About 150,000 residents have already been immunized with the country’s Abdala vaccine. The vaccines are being administered to medical students and health workers. On Wednesday, residents from Havana, Regla, Guanabacoa, Habana del Este and San Miguel del Padrón began receiving the first injections.

The vaccine program has begun even though the Sovereign 02 vaccine has not yet been fully certified. As part of the trials, authorities decided to begin vaccinating the 1.7 million inhabitants of Havana in May, reported Ileana Morales, director of science and technological innovation at the Ministry of Health.

In a state television broadcast, Morales indicated that approval will be requested in June for the emergency use of Soberana 02 and Abdala.

“With the approval of emergency use … we would be on the way to a more massive vaccination of the population,” said the official.

Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda, Minister of Public Health, stressed that all processes comply with the ethical standards approved for research in humans in addition to having safe and quality methodological procedures.

“Advancing in the vaccination of different population groups should contribute to the reduction of the sick and deceased, in addition to promoting a possible decrease in transmission, which would allow a gradual return to social and economic activities throughout the national territory,” said the Minister of Health.

Cuba this month began the last phase of testing two of the five vaccines it is developing. If successful, both Sovereign 02 and Abdala could be the first covid vaccines to be developed in Latin America.