Cuba will start « large-scale production » of its Sovereign 02 vaccine, the drug that seeks to deal with the coronavirus, as reported by Eduardo Martínez, president of the BioCubaFarma business group, while the drug continues to be analyzed in humans both on the island and in other countries.
Martínez said, without giving figures, that the vaccine « is produced on a large scale at the Biocen parenteral plant to be used in phase III (and last) of the clinical trials that will begin next March. »
“From a technological point of view, any transfer is a challenge. In the case of Soberana 02, the challenge is being greater, due to the health emergency. Biocen, meets high quality standards and it has sufficient productive capacities ”, he pointed out.
Cuba produced the first 150,000 vaccines of this type this month and is progressing in the trials of three other drugs, which are Soberana 01, Mambisa and Abdala. With these doses, the island aims to vaccinate its entire population for free before July this year.
The director of the Finlay Institute, Vicente Vérez, reported that the aspiration of Cuban scientists is produce 100 million doses of Sovereign 02 this year.
« There are already countries interested in acquiring this vaccine, such as Vietnam, Iran and Venezuela, among others, with which we have collaboration agreements, including Pakistan and India, » he said.
Soberana 02 is « a conjugate vaccine, in which the virus antigen, the receptor-binding domain (RBD), is chemically bound to tetanus toxoid », the specialists have explained.
Another characteristic of all Cuban vaccines is that can be kept at higher temperatures than those that have hit the international market so far and include nasal administration.
« The Cuban antigen is safe because it does not contain the live virus, but parts of it, so its placement generates immunity, but it does not cause major reactions and, therefore, it does not need extra refrigeration, like other candidates in the world, » he said. Verez.
The epidemic on the island is unstoppable
Since November, Cuba has suffered the third wave of covid-19, which is unstoppable so far, and it seeks in its vaccines the safest way to, at least, pause the advance of the epidemic.
“Until February 19, the country registered 43 thousand 484 confirmed cases with the virus; of them, 42 thousand 331 Cubans and one thousand 153 foreigners. The autochthonous cases add up to 38,890, for an incidence rate of 347.7 per 100,000 inhabitants ”, informed the Minister of Public Health (Minsap), José Ángel Portal.
He added that « in the last 15 days, 11,943 positive cases were diagnosed, for a rate of 106.8 per 100,000 inhabitants. »
The figure considered acceptable for the control of the disease is 50 per 100,000 inhabitants.
Dr. Francisco Durán, director of epidemiology at Misap, reported today that in the last few hours « there were five more deaths, so the total number of deaths since the epidemic began in March reached 274. »
He also revealed in a press conference that « 1,39 new infections were reported, the second highest figure in one day since March. »