Cuba on Monday inoculated its COVID-19 vaccine project, the “Sovereign 01, to a group of volunteers, at the beginning of a test phase that should have its results ready in mid-February 2021.
“I consider it an honor for me to be here. It is personal satisfaction. I am convinced that there are thousands of Cubans who would like to be here,” Baltasar Pérez, 58, one of the first 20 Cubans recruited to participate, told state television. the proof.
All of them were summoned to the National Toxicology Center (Cenatox), in Havana. Before they had to sign a document with their consent.
“As a Cuban, she is proud because she is a vaccine candidate who is giving us hope, an opportunity to fight this terrible pandemic,” said Diana Borges, 22, another volunteer.
Cuba expects to test total of 676 people between the ages of 19 and 80.
“We already have the first 20. The clinical trial has two stages. The first is from the 19 to 59-year-old group (…)”, explained Meiby Rodríguez, director of Clinical Research at the Finlay Vaccine Institute.
In the second stage, a dose will be applied to people between 60 and 80 years old, after a rigorous evaluation.
In the first stage it is expected that no more than 5% of the volunteers will show serious adverse events.
“Although there are vaccines from other countries, we need ours to have sovereignty,” President Miguel Díaz-Canel said on May 19.
Abroad, Russian authorities reported progress in the production of their Sputnik V vaccine. They even expressed their intention to produce it with Cuba, although the island has not officially commented on the offer.
Western researchers were skeptical of the Russian product and are making progress on various projects.
In Latin America, Argentina and Mexico recently announced an agreement to produce the vaccine designed by AstraZeneca and the University of Oxford.
In the United States, the Moderna laboratory has one of the most advanced projects, with trials in humans, as does the Chinese group Sinopharm.
The Cuban government tends to show off the development of its biotechnology and shows among its achievements its own vaccine against Hepatitis-B.
With 11 million inhabitants, the island has managed to contain the new coronavirus pandemic, with 3,717 cases, 91 of them deceased and 3,079 cured, at the end of Sunday.