COVID-19 in Cuba

• Cuba reports 1,129 new COVID-19 infections and 7 deaths • Cuba will soon start an anti-COVID-19 study in the pediatric population • Anti-COVID-19 health intervention stepped up in Havana • Bolivian media stress world interest in Cuban COVID-19 vaccines

Cuba Reports 1,129 New COVID-19 Infections and 7 Deaths

Havana, Cuba.- Cuban health authorities announced on Friday 1,129 new COVID-19 infections and seven deaths in the last 24 hours due to complications from the disease.

Thus, the Caribbean nation accumulates 146,696 patients diagnosed with the virus since the beginning of the pandemic in March 2020, and 992 fatalities.

Havana reported the most autochthonous cases with 455, followed by Santiago de Cuba with 1341, and Pinar del Río, 64.

As of midnight, the island accumulated 2 379 961 doses of homegrown vaccines administered.

Cuba Will Soon Start an Anti-COVID-19 Study in the Pediatric Population

The director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), Vicente Vérez, addresses the press, June 2, 2021.Cuba could begin an anti-Covid-19 clinical trial in the pediatric population in the next few days with the candidates Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus, informed the director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), Vicente Vérez.

If approved by the Center for the State Control of Medicines, Equipment, and Medical Devices (CECMED), the protocol would involve children between three and 18 years of age for a phase I/II trial that would start next week in Havana", said the executive.

In a press conference, Vérez indicated that some 300 children would initially participate and would first receive the doses in a group between 18 and 12 years of age, to be later administered to those of three years of age.

He explained that the decision to proceed with the Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus products, developed by IFV, is due to the safety demonstrated by both candidates in their clinical trial phases, as well as in the intervention studies and the health intervention, in which the adverse events after vaccination have been mild or moderate.

Regarding the Soberana 01 candidate, Vérez announced that a second Phase trial would begin in the province of Cienfuegos at the end of June. The trial will also include children under 19 years of age.

Anti-COVID-19 Health Intervention Stepped Up in Havana

Health intervention advancesCuba's Minister of Public Health, José Angel Portal, announced Thursday the decision of the island's authorities to step up the current health intervention with the anti-COVID-19 Abdala vaccine candidate in the entire capital.

Havana is the most at-risk territory in the Caribbean nation, due to the complexity of the epidemiological situation, an aspect taken into account for the extension, explained the Minister during a meeting of the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, with leaders of the Government and the Communist Party in the province.

According to Presidency's website, by the end of the month, the entire population of the capital will have been vaccinated with at least one dose.

Portal added that by the end of July, all persons over 18 years of age, who are not prevented from being vaccinated at this time, should have completed the three-dose schedule designed for Abdala vaccine candidate.

However, the Prime Minister warned that this action cannot lead to a decrease in risk perception and compliance with the hygienic-sanitary provisions.

A vaccinated person can be a carrier, and a transmitter of COVID-19 warned Marrero. He recalled that a significant number of Havana residents would remain in a state of temporary vulnerability, as they will not receive the immunogenic for different reasons.

Bolivian Media Stress World Interest in Cuban COVID-19 Vaccines

Production of anti-COVID-19 vaccine candidateLa Paz.- The Cuban-made COVID-19 vaccine candidates Soberana 02 and Abdala have drawn the attention of several countries due to their advantages against the new strains of the SAR-Cov-2 coronavirus, according to the Bolivian news agency ABI.

ABI stressed that Cuba continues its studies on other vaccine candidates, all of which have been produced domestically, despite the United States blockade, to obtain more drugs to fight the coronavirus.

According to Dr. Eduardo Martínez, president of the Group of Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries of Cuba (BioCubaFarma), the technical studies are taking place in a scenario where other strains of the virus are already present, including the one that originated in South Africa, which is one of the most worrying according to the World Health Organization (WHO), as quoted by ABI from an interview to Martínez, published by Sputnik.

Cuban health authorities indicated that the first official results of the 3rd phase of clinical trials on Soberana 02 and Abdala, to take place this month, might surpass by far the 50 percent efficiency required for their approval by WHO.

BioCubaFarma's president said that Cuba is closer to having some of these vaccines used in mass vaccinations against COVID-19, as over 90 percent of Phase 2 volunteers showed a response of antibody that is four times above the base levels.

President of Bolivia Luis Arce said recently that Cuba is the only country in Latin America with two vaccine candidates in Phase 3, which are close to being approved by WHO, which could make the country the first nation to have vaccines of its own in the continent.

Cuba is working in parallel in five candidates: Soberana 01, 02, and +, developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute; and Abdala and Mambisa, from the Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB), the latter the only vaccine to be administered nasally.

With information by RHC and PL