Vicente Velez, the Director of the Finlay Institute of Havana, has announced Cuba’s intention to offer international travelers “Soberana 02”, one of the 4 vaccines against the novel coronavirus the country is currently developing.
“Beaches, Caribbean, mojitos and vaccines, all in one place,” said the doctor in a video broadcasted by Telesur, a Latin American terrestrial and satellite television network.
“Finlay’s Soberana 01 and Soberana 02 have shown a high immune response against the virus during clinical trials.” Velez also stated that the Island has the capacity to produce 100 million doses over the months to come.
The government plans to vaccinate the entire Cuban population in 2021.
But the generosity of the Cuban government goes further than only attracting tourists with their vaccine, the only one in phase 4 developed by a developing country.
Authorities have also offered their vaccine to countries such as Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela and India, in view of the difficulties these countries are facing to get access to Pfitzer and Astrazeneca’s stock.
What type of experience does Cuba have creating vaccines?
The Cuban biotech industry has exported vaccines against meningitis, hepatitis B and lung cancer to more than 40 countries since 1980.
The national vaccination program includes 11 vaccines against 13 diseases, eight of those are developed and produced on the Island.
Eduardo Ojito, director general at Cuba’s Center of Molecular Immunology, has stated that
the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. have forced local scientists “to be more resourceful in developing coronavirus vaccines.”
That is why the island has enough and equipped research facilities to develop vaccines and export them to other nations.
“Our installed capacities in all of our scientific facilities are sufficient to embrace clinical development and exports,” he added.
Regarding the vaccines against the coronavirus, Cuba is working on the development of four experimental ones, Soberana 01, Soberana 02, Mambisa and Abdala.
These vaccines are being developed by scientists from Havana’s Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV) and the city’s Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB).
New rigorous restrictions
The Caribbean island is currently going through a severe spike in coronavirus cases.
Francisco Duran, Cuba’s Chief Epidemiologist reported 821 new Covid-19 cases and 4 more deaths over the last 24 hours.
As of today, February 6, the country has 5,685 active patients under hospital care and 9,092 people confined in special isolation facilities.
So far, the Island has seen 32,011 total positive cases and 233 deaths.
In an attempt to control the spread of the virus,Havana and other cities were put under curfew from 21:00 to 05:00. More urban areas are expected to also be put in total quarantine over the next few days.