The scientific capacity of the Cuban Revolution is being felt once again with this latest medical achievement which will soon make its way to other parts of the region and world. Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute has reported 62% initial efficacy in a two-dose application of Latin America’s first vaccine, Soberana 02.
A higher efficacy rate is expected through the application of one dose of the Soberana Plus booster shot. The Soberana 02 + Soberana Plus three-dose schedule is being tested as phase three of clinical trials continue.
Researchers of Cuba’s vaccine institute announced their findings at a press conference on Saturday (June 19) with the attendance of Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel in the audience. The vaccine was tested not only against the original strain, but also against new Covid-19 variants which have been identified in Havana.
The 62% figure exceeds the minimum established by the World Health Organization for vaccines, which is 50%.
General Director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, Dr. Vicente Vérez Bencomo, broke the news:
“We can inform that we have reached 62% efficacy with the application of two doses of Soberana 02. This is a very reassuring result, it is reassuring because it is a result obtained in a scenario of new strains. That is to say, this is not the efficacy against the original strain, but rather the efficacy against the combination of circulating strains which have been found in Havana right now. We continue, the clinical trials continue and thus in a couple of weeks we should have the results of the efficacy of the three doses which we hope will be superior than the immune response observed in these first results.”
Speaking before the Finlay Institute’s scientists, President Diaz-Canel lauded the achievement, the result of thirteen months of valiant efforts.
“This is a resounding result of Cuban scientists that expresses many things. It expresses the confirmation once again of Fidel’s visionary thinking and of the scientific capacity created by the Revolution, but there are also other reasons to highlight,” said Díaz-Canel.
“This is going to be good for more than eleven million Cubans and for millions of people in the world, especially the poorest, who do not have access to any of the other vaccines,”
Diaz-Canel added that such an achievement is “exalting” and “emancipating” for Cuba and the Cuban people, whose scientists continuously exceed all expectations under the brutal decades long U.S. blockade.
Cuba intends to rapidly vaccinate its entire population, after producing the vaccine domestically, and then plans to export the vaccine to other countries of the global south, such as Iran, which have struggled to secure a supply. Five vaccines against Covid-19 are currently being produced and tested in Cuba: Soberana 02, Soberana 01, Soberana Plus, Abdala and Mambisa.