Abdala vaccine candidate

While the nurse rolled up her sleeves, and a camera acted as an accomplice, Leydiana Leyva Romero was inspired by her new post; one in which she would tell, a little jokingly, but much more seriously, her experience with the Abdala anti-COVID-19 vaccine candidate. That premeditated act did not manage to capture the essence of the longed-for prick, but it did capture eyes puckered into a clear expression of pain; luckily, too ephemeral to overshadow the satisfaction of knowing that she is more protected now.

“(…) Today I saw the third and last chapter of Abdala. At first, I smiled, I didn't even feel it, it didn't even tickle me. I don't know if it was the size of the needle or the technique, but it happened unknowingly. The second chapter was more dramatic, after the touch, my limb fell, gave me a headache and I fell as "the sleeping beauty.”

“But this last did hurt and I thought that with the previous two my body would already be prepared for the onslaught. All my sensors were activated with Abdala's input, and although I started smiling and wanted to petrify my joy, it couldn't be...,” the young journalist wrote on her Facebook wall.

These days there are many stories of hope posted on social media, from the hand of Cuban vaccine candidates. Never before has there been so much emotion in a "puncture" or the desire to perpetuate the sublime moment in an image, and even more to "shout" to the world the pride of being a son of this land that gives birth so many good and talented people.

"Abdala is in me and I am stronger, more grateful, and more Cuban," wrote colleague Yenima Díaz Velázquez in a publication that accompanies a photo. And the congratulatory messages were not long in coming; yes, because completing the vaccination schedule is a true gift of life in these difficult days, in which the province registers a significant increase in COVID-19 positive cases.

The news that Abdala's efficacy is 92.28 percent, higher than the requirement of the World Health Organization to declare an anti-COVID-19 candidate a vaccine, sparked emotions and aroused admiration for Cuba, a blocked nation, with scarce resources, which today inscribes a new page of glory. Now, it is time to request authorization of emergency use to the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices.


Since the health intervention with Abdala began in Las Tunas in the health personnel and other risk groups, the faith of many has grown, and the end of this struggle has been a little closer. This process gives added value to the clinical trials, as it provides the necessary data for the registration of vaccine candidates.

To date, more than 26 thousand 50 workers have benefited here; to this figure will be added others who have not completed their vaccination scheme, with which they must total about 26,600 people for a 98 percent inclusion of what was initially planned.

Nilvia Agüero Batista, the coordinator of the Insurance Committee of this process, clarifies that those who for some reason could not attend on the corresponding date have 12 days to return to the vaccination points; after that time they do leave the health intervention. For those cases, some clinical sites remain open in the territory, she indicated.

During the process, only mild adverse effects were reported, mainly related to pain and redness at the injection site. Also, those involved manifested drowsiness, decay, and headache.

The specialist recognized the performance of the personnel that assumed the task. For them, there are also words of gratitude from social media. “To all the team that accompanied us, thank you very much. (…) This is a historic moment, and being part of it is incredible,” as can be read in a post published in the profile of the Provincial Center for Hygiene, Epidemiology and Microbiology.

“Abdala” was not designed to cut off the circulation of the virus; its mission is to raise the body's antibodies to prevent patients from developing serious symptoms.
According to experts, after the application of any vaccine, the body develops the best immunity values between 14 and 21 days after the last dose. And not all of them achieve these high levels, "because it depends on two factors: the immunogenic and the individual's genetics, and there is no 100 percent effective vaccine," a material published by the Cuban News Agency reads.

“The more people receive these drugs, the higher the vaccination coverage and the greater the effective immunity that will go from being individual to population or herd immunity. In the same way, the possibility of the disease occurring will decrease when high numbers of vaccinated are achieved in the country.”

For this reason, it insists on maintaining biosafety measures that include the correct use of the mask, physical distancing, and disinfection of hands and surfaces.


The health intervention with “Abdala” will soon reach people over 60 years of age, and then it will be extended to the age groups of 40 to 59 years, followed by that of 19 to 39.

For this purpose, almost 190 medical offices and another 200 premises will function as clinical sites. The mass organizations and different organisms accompany the Health sector in the preparations of an extremely complex process, which requires great commitment.

When our elders receive that breath of life, SARS-CoV-2 will "suffer" a strong thrust; children and grandchildren will put their heads on the pillow more calmly; hope will grow among the grateful and the pride for a country that does not abandon its people.