Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades. And yet the island may be about to become the world’s smallest country to develop its own coronavirus vaccines.
Cuba’s economic crisis is so severe that the country currently faces shortages of essential goods such as rice and paracetamol. But it may become a success story in the fight against Covid-19, as two of the 23 coronavirus vaccines in the final stages of testing around the world are Cuban.
Cuba began vaccinating tens of thousands of health-care workers with a second COVID-19 vaccine last Monday, even though it has yet to complete clinical trials.
Last week, Cuba started vaccinating 150,000 health-care workers with its Soberana 2 vaccine that is still in the third phase of clinical trials.
“In order to have our sovereignty we need to have our vaccine. In nine months we developed from an idea to a vaccine to be put in phase three clinical trials,” said Vincente Verez of Cuba’s Finlay Health Institute, describing the speed of the country’s jab development as “incredible”.
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