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The president of Cuba's Biotechnological and Pharmaceutical Industries Group (BioCubaFarma), Eduardo Martínez Díaz, announced Wednesday to the press that all the doses of the Cuban anti-COVID-19 vaccines, Abdala, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus, have been produced, including the doses without thiomersal, to immunize the country's population before the end of 2021.
"More than a year and a half ago this colossal task began, we bet on our capabilities and experience and the productive record was achieved," he said.
Martinez Diaz said that it would not be possible to vaccinate the population if they had acquired the vaccines abroad, nor would it be possible to carry out the massive vaccination campaign in children and adolescents.
He also pointed out that they will propose to the Ministry of Public Health the possibility of evaluating the immunogens in children under two years of age due to the safety demonstrated in the clinical trials in the pediatric population.
Regarding the effectiveness, he detailed that in the territories with high vaccination coverage, it has been evidenced that the risk of passing to gravity and death is ten times higher in those not vaccinated due to the Delta variant's high transmissibility SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
More than 200,000 doses of vaccines are being applied daily in the country, the immunization of the population allergic to thiomersal has begun and in the next few days, it will start in convalescents, once it is approved by the Center for the State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED).
Mayda Mauri Pérez, first vice-president of BioCubaFarma, said that once all the doses for the Cuban population are ready, commercial agreements for the distribution of the vaccines will be able to move forward.
She mentioned that contracts had been signed with Iran, Venezuela and Vietnam, and there are talks with other countries in the Latin American region and the world.
The Delta variant, he said, will increase inequity in the acquisition of vaccines as a booster dose will be required, and developing nations will have less access to them.
"We have completed production of all the vaccine doses we need to immunize our population. The challenge was great, but we did it."
He emphasized that the country's productive capacities, upon completion of the immunization in the country, will depend on the new agreements, in addition to the fact that the results of clinical trials in pediatric and convalescent populations offer other possibilities for collaboration.
On July 9, Abdala became the first vaccine developed and produced in Latin America with emergency use authorization granted by the Cuban regulatory authority, CECMED. It also has this approval in Vietnam.
The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology developed the immunogen reported 92.28 percent efficacy in Phase III clinical trials to prevent symptomatic disease and 90 percent effectiveness in severe COVID-19 patients, despite the circulation of the Delta variant in the country.
The Soberanas (02 and Plus), from the Finlay Vaccine Institute, obtained emergency use authorization on August 20 for the adult population. On September 3, it was extended to children and adolescents between 2 and 18 years of age.
In Phase III clinical trials, the combination of the drugs showed 91.2 percent efficacy in preventing the symptomatic disease and are the first vaccines in the world to be applied in a child vaccination campaign against COVID-19.
Cuba recently presented the results of its vaccines to the World Health Organization and the Pan American Health Organization for the process of recognition by the international organization.