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The application of one of the Cuban vaccines against COVID-19 has begun in several territories, initially in high-risk groups, under a voluntary principle.
This Monday, inoculation with the Abdala vaccine, which will protect all health workers and students of the Carlos J. Finlay University of Medical Sciences, began in the vast plains of Camaguey.
"The procedure that began just a few hours ago is not a mass vaccination, but an intervention in groups and populations at risk," Reinaldo Pons Vázquez, provincial director of Public Health, announced to the press.
He also said that in Camagüey, there are 37,800 doses of Abdala, which would cover all workers and students of medical sciences who voluntarily agree to be vaccinated, except those whose health does not allow it, have recently suffered from COVID-19 or at the time of vaccination are decompensated from chronic diseases such as hypertension.
He added that before applying the dose, individual interviews and a medical examination are carried out, including taking blood pressure, temperature, and other parameters that ensure their good condition. After the vaccination, there is observation for 40 minutes to one hour.
The digital page of Radio Cadena Agramonte reported that the health intervention will be applied in three stages, every 14 days and that it began at the Pediatric Specialties Polyclinic, belonging to the Eduardo Agramonte Piña Pediatric Hospital, where 180 people will be vaccinated per day. Then the rest of the health institutions will be added in an organized manner.
Vaccination will be extended to all hospitals and polyclinics in each municipality, with 42 vaccination sites and 51 vaccinators, and 164 nurses have been certified, although only 82 active nurses are needed.
In Camagüey, the first stage of the intervention on at-risk groups and populations with Abdala will conclude next May 20. Information from medical procedures is already being compiled in real-time.
In 49 clinical sites and 73 vaccination points in the province of Holguin, the intervention of at-risk groups with the Abdala vaccine candidate similarly began Tuesday, after verifying the quality standards and regulations of the Ministry of Public Health.
The first of the three doses of this Cuban vaccine is being applied in Holguin, in all municipalities, to health personnel and medical sciences students who participate in the surveys.
This stage, explains Dr. Katia Ochoa, provincial director of Health, precedes "the massive population vaccination, determined by the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization as an emergency, due to an extraordinary situation at world level, and it will always be validated by the moments that precede it, the regulatory bodies and our health system."
During the last weekend, the certification of the intervention scenarios in the 14 municipalities was carried out to declare them ready. On Saturday night, Abdala vaccine doses foreseen for this stage of intervention arrived in the territory.
On Monday morning, the good news arrived that the health intervention with the vaccine candidate Abdala would start on Tuesday among the health personnel, workers, and students of medical sciences of the central province of Santa Clara.
The news came from the Provincial Defense Council, which specified that taking place would be an intervention in groups and territories at risk, under the volunteer principle of those selected.
#Abdala, candidato vacunal cubano antiCovid19 ya está en #PinardelRío para dar inicio en los próximos días a la intervención sanitaria en esta provincia a trabajadores, estudiantes de salud y grupos de riesgo. #CubaSalva �� Yoslaine Sánchez Arronte pic.twitter.com/4Ek4LO4MBL
"Cuban anti-Covid19 vaccine candidate Abdala is already in #PinardelRio to start in the coming days the health intervention in this province for workers, health students and at-risk groups."
Dr. Gretza Sánchez Padrón, Director of Public Health in the province, emphasized that it is expected to be applied to a little more than 48 thousand people in a three-dose scheme: one on day zero, another at 14 days, and the last one at 28 days.
The health intervention will start on Tuesday in the provincial capital and continue later in the rest of the municipalities. More than one hundred centers are authorized to apply this Cuban vaccine candidate, developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
In addition to Abdala, which has already demonstrated safety and immunogenicity against COVID-19, there are four other vaccine candidates developed in Cuba: Soberana 01, Soberana 02, Soberana Plus, and Mambisa.
Also beginning this Tuesday is the vaccination of public health personnel of the Special Municipality of the Isle of Youth, with the Abdala vaccine candidate, Dr. Israel Velázquez Batista, health director for the municipality, confirmed on his Facebook wall.
The doctor added that the vaccination points would be located in the polyclinics of the distinct health areas, "and each unit has already been assigned to one of these centers, which we will attend in an organized manner, according to the schedule made," he wrote.
For his part, Víctor Doeste Hernández, coordinator of the municipal commission for the process, pointed out that the first batch of Abdala is already in the territory, which guarantees the first stage of the process. Some 34 clinical sites are already planned for the following intervention for all the population of Pinar del Río over 18 years of age.
Doeste Hernandez explained that areas within the schools of the 10 Popular Councils would also be used, where the selected population will be vaccinated in three strata: over 60 years old, 40 to 59 years old, and 19 to 39 years old in that order.
He emphasized that each individual must remain at the vaccination site for one hour as part of the surveillance protocol foreseen to observe reactions. This rule cannot be violated since it is part of the accreditation study of the vaccination candidate.
The physician clarified in a press conference that Abdala doses would not be received in this phase by those who suffered COVID-19, those with acute infectious diseases or associated decompensated morbidities, patients with cancer, and immunosuppressive treatment, pregnant women, puerperal women, and mothers with breastfeeding children.
For his part, Velázquez Batista recalled that among all the actions carried out in the territory to face COVID-19, vaccination would have the most extraordinary transcendence and impact since "we all know that Abdala has obtained good results in the clinical trials in its different phases."
He also informed that the molecular biology laboratory is now carrying out a Zero Prevalence study since the Isle of Youth has reported zero cases of SARS-CoV-2 transmission for more than 20 days, and control is being reinforced in the air and sea borders to avoid a resurgence."