The mass vaccination against Covid-19 with the Soberana 02 vaccine for ages between 12 and 18 years begins today in Cuba, and is expected to last until next November 5th, health authorities reported. The immunization schedule for pediatric ages was announced recently at a meeting of scientists and authorities of the Ministry of Health (MINSAP) with the temporary work group to confront the pandemic, led by President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Infants between the ages of two and 11 will also be vaccinated with Soberana 02 between September 15th and November 15th, as authorized by the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED), the national regulator.
Students in grade 12 of pre-university, in the third year of technical-professional education and in the last year of pedagogical training have been receiving the vaccine since September 3rd, and will be until October 4th.
The vaccine Abdala is being applied to this group, the other Cuban vaccine authorized for emergency use and designed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB).
The purpose, as declared by Cuba, is that the entire population eligible to be vaccinated against Covid-19 receives at least one dose of any of the authorized vaccines before the end of September.
According to a recent tweet by the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), the format of the vaccination campaign will be intensive, with many people immunized in a short time.
In Cuba, children’s health is a priority despite the obstacles imposed by the US blockade against the country almost 60 years ago, health authorities highlighted on Tuesday. ‘Nothing is more important for Cuba than the life of a child,’ Health Minister Jose Angel Portal assured on Tuesday on Twitter.
The care protocol for Covid-19 patients in Cuba on Monday focuses on high-risk patients, who can evolve to serious health conditions due to their associated diseases. The current protocol, version 1.6, is already available for health personnel, and emphasizes preventive work, in tune with the present epidemiological situation, when the number of patients is around 850 a day and some 10,697 new contagions and 50 deaths have been reported this month only.
Phase I of clinical trials of Cuba’s second Covid-19 vaccine candidate, Soberana 02, is beginning on Monday, confirmed Dagmar Garcia, Research Director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute. In her Twitter account, the specialist stressed that ‘government-health-science integration can do everything when the priority is the health of the people.’
We are in the middle of a pandemic where the United States has the worst example of how to deal with this. It’s spreading. We don’t have a public healthcare system that’s capable of dealing with this in a unified fashion. And yet 90 miles from Florida is a tiny island that has been able to deal with the pandemic, cut it way down.
«The solidarity built by Cuban internationalism is the kind of expression needed in communities everywhere,» noted renowned American actor Danny Glover as he addressed the Caribbean island’s medical collaboration.
In a web conference organized by the Cuban solidarity networks in the United States and Canada, the artist pointed out that the response given by Cuba to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the sending of medical brigades to more than twenty countries, began 60 years ago.
In a sign of true global solidarity, Cuba today allowed MS Braemer, a British cruise ship, to dock on its shores despite having at least five confirmed coronavirus cases on board and another 52 passengers displaying symptoms. The ship, with over 600 mainly British passengers, had no Cuban nationals on board but had requested help from both Cuba and the US.
Cuba acted without self-interest. The ship had been anchored in the Caribbean over the last five days as it frantically searched for a place to dock. Diplomats from the British Foreign Office had urged US officials to allow the ship to dock on American soil but were met with obstacles. Cuban officials instead accepted the request, stating that there must be “a shared effort to confront and stop the spread of the pandemic”. After all, these are still humans suffering, regardless of the passport they hold.