Besides not requiring deep-freezing, this protein-based vaccine gives upwards of 90 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 when offered in three-dose schemes.
On Monday, Saint Vincent & the Grenadines (SVG) became the first country in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) to authorize the use of Abdala, a COVID-19 vaccine made in Cuba.
Previously, Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves announced that Cuba had donated 300 Abdala doses to his country, which would be used immediately on teachers and other workers who are on the front lines of the fight against the pandemic.
"God and the Cuban vaccine will save us from COVID-19," said Gonsalves during his speech at the 20th Summit of the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of America Peoples' Trade Agreement (ALBA-TCP) held on Dec. 14.
SVG Health Ministry informed that vaccines from Pfizer, AstraZeneca, and Sputnik V are also available at vaccination sites across the country.
Cuba's Center for Control of Medicines and Medical Devices (CECMED) authorized Abdala for emergency use on July 9. This happened after the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology presented a study conducted on over 48,000 participants demonstrating that this vaccine had a 92.28 percent efficacy rate in preventing COVID-19.
"Protein-based Abdala, Soberana, 02 and Soberana Plus shots give upwards of 90 percent protection against symptomatic COVID-19 when offered in three-dose schemes," Reuters reported, adding that the Cuban vaccines, "which can be produced affordably and do not require deep-freezing, are seen by international health officials as a potential source for much needed doses in low-income countries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
So far, 30 percent of the population of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines have received a dose of some COVID-19 vaccine and only 23 percent of citizens have completed the immunization schedule.