Vaccine against Coronavirus: Cuba beats Italy one to zero.
That the country of Fidel Castro and the “barbudos” was economically weak is certainly not new, just as it is no surprise that the Caribbean island was quite advanced from the medical point of view.
Many drugs, which cannot be found in the old continent, are considered satisfactory against important diseases. This scientific research capacity has also been seen in the case of the pandemic and in the study of vaccines. The confrontation with rich Italy is pitiless, the home of fine scientists and a bureaucracy that has no equal in the world and that has failed, only for bureaucratic reasons, not to carry out its vaccine. Well, the virtual game on the vaccine was won in a dry way by Cuba against the beautiful Italy for one to zero.
In fact, a few days ago the Cuban regulatory agency (CECMED), while the country is still in the middle of the pandemic, gave the green light to Abdala, his vaccine against Covid-19 for emergency use.
The preparation, thus becoming the first Latin American vaccine, showed an efficacy of more than 92% with three doses.
Cuba will now be able to apply for WHO pre-qualification and Abdala’s international validation. The months-long procedure requires rigorous reviews, scientific reviews and exchanges.
Currently, Fidel’s country is in the midst of an outbreak, with thousands of daily cases and dozens of deaths, a growing trend that yesterday broke all records, with 6,422 infected and 28 deaths, almost double compared to the previous day.
According to CECMED Abdala “meets the requirements and parameters required in terms of quality, safety and efficacy. A rigorous evaluation process was carried out on the dossier presented on Adbala, including inspections of drug production plants and data analysis of the clinical trials of phases I, II and III to which the vaccine was subjected “.
For the regulatory authority, clinical studies have shown an efficacy of 92.28% “in the prevention of symptomatic forms of Covid-19”.
Cuba is currently working on several other candidate vaccines against Covid-19: Soberana 01, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus, developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV); in addition to Abdala and Mambisa (the latter has the particularity of being administered via nasal spray), created by the CIGB.
All Cuban prototypes are protein subunit vaccines, and rely on the inoculation of a protein from the Coronavirus spike (the part that binds to the cells it infects), to produce an immune response.
If WHO approves Abala, the vaccine could become part of those distributed by the COVAX mechanism or the PAHO Revolving Fund for the least developed and most needy countries.
Despite this success, Cuba is experiencing a dramatic situation. For months it has managed to contain the spread of the virus, keeping infections low, but in recent months the numbers have multiplied exponentially.
Before, the daily cases were hundreds, and in the last few days they are already thousands (Thursday 6,442, Wednesday more than 3,800). This has caused the collapse of medical services in provinces such as Matanzas, with an incidence rate of over 1,000 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the past 15 days.
All in an economic situation that to say dramatic is an understatement. Lines of hours to buy basic necessities and a shortage of basic medicines, such as antibiotics or pain relievers. But the island, as always, does not give up.