A vaccine as sovereign as the people that created it

In the circumstances that the world and our country, as part of it, are living, Cuba has produced several products that have been successfully used in high risk segments of the population, reducing the number of serious and critical conditions, as well as mortality rates

In achieving this, the country has maintained decisive factors operating such as preventive actions, integration of different institutions and sectors of the society in all efforts, direct link between the scientific community and the government, and the participation of the vast majority of the people.

The founding steps of the pharmaceutical industry in Cuba date back to 35 years ago, when Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro consistently encouraged and guided its growth and development. In 1965 emerged the National Center for Scientific Research, which became the training ground for scientists who went on to establish other institutions, such as the Biological Front, the Center for Biological Research, the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center, the Immunoassay Center, among others, all of which in 2021 merged with the pharmaceutical industry companies to become part of the BioCubaFarma state enterprise. 

BioCubaFarma has worked on 16 projects to produce new treatments and medical technologies to prevent and combat the disease, and when the coronavirus  Sars.CoV -2 cause of Covid-19, first appeared in Wuhan, China, in December 2029, Cuba began to carefully monitor the situation, and a strategy was immediately implemented. And so the scientific capacity of BioCubaFarma was mobilized to introduce a series of novel products used in different fronts in the battle against the disease.

The joint research program undertaken by Ministry of Public Health and BioCubaFarma currently includes dozens of projects addressing a number of issues, such as the prevention of infections in at-risk and vulnerable groups; treatment of confirmed cases, and patients in serious and critical condition specifically; as well as recovery from the disease, with a view toward reducing the risk of long term consequences of the infection.

And this is how now Cuba is able to count on a vaccine candidate against Covid-19,that has resulted from a scientific and governmental alliance. As of Monday August 24th, the Island nation began the initial phase of clinical trials in humans with its first vaccine candidate to fight Covid-19, named Soberana, meaning Sovereign. The second stage of those clinical trials is scheduled for September 11, when 676 volunteers will be completed

The vaccine candidate is the result of Cuba’s accumulated experience in preventive medicine, mass immunization, and the progress of its biopharmaceutical industry, which currently shows a well-earned international prestige.

Vaccination in Cuba is free, universal and integrated into primary healthcare. It is a commitment and political will to the population’s health through a comprehensive health system. Cuba currently administers 11 vaccines, providing protection against 13 diseases.

‘The Cuban vaccine candidate to fight Covid-19, Soberana 01, is the first in Latin America and the first in a country poor in economic resources, but great in spirit, this is also the reason why we have succeeded,’ Dr. Vicente Verez, director at the Finlay Vaccine Institute, said.

This strategy has served as an important tool that does not reflect the distorted interests of private property and the market economy, but rather serves as a great strength in the entire people’s struggle for life.

It was a report from Prensa Latina Radio by Gilda Gil

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