Cuba sells 5 million doses of its Abdala vaccine to Vietnam

Havana, Sep 20 (EFE).- Cuba will supply Vietnam with an initial 5 million doses of its Abdala vaccine against Covid-19, a deal signed by representatives of both countries on Monday in Havana.

Vietnam’s President Nguyen Xuan Phuc, who began his first official visit to Cuba on Saturday, attended the signing of the agreement between the Cuban Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and the Center for Research and Production of Vaccines and Biologicals (Polyvac) of the Southeast Asian nation.

The export agreement – the cost of which has not been reported – is part of the biotechnology, health and economic agreements signed during Phuc’s visit.

The CIGB had previously reported that Vietnam’s drug regulator had approved the import and emergency use of its vaccine against the SARS-COV-2 coronavirus, which causes Covid-19.

CIGB director Marta Ayala said that the Vietnamese authorities are interested in using the Cuban vaccine for immunization of both adults and children.

Abdala, one of the three vaccines endorsed by Cuban regulators for emergency use, is a three-shot formula that authorities say showed an efficacy of 92.28 percent in last-stage clinical trials. It is already being used in Iran and Venezuela.

The scientist added that Cuban and Vietnamese experts are working together to transfer the technology that will enable the production of this drug in the Southeast Asian nation.

Other agreements to strengthen bilateral cooperation in areas such as tourism and energy were also on the agenda of the broad delegation headed by the Vietnamese president.

Cuban hotel chains Gran Caribe and Cubanacán signed memoranda of understanding with Vietnamese entity City Land Investment Co. Ltd for the construction and development of joint projects.

Likewise, the island’s Electricity Union and Thai Bihn Green Power Investment Corporation agreed on a contract for the sale of electricity for a project in the Mariel Special Development Zone.

Former Cuban president Raúl Castro also held a meeting with the Vietnamese leader before the end of Phuc’s official visit on Monday, which he wrapped up by laying a wreath at the tomb of Fidel Castro.

Vietnam is Cuba’s second largest trading partner in Asia after China and among the top 20 globally, with bilateral trade of more than $340 million in recent years, according to official data.

The nations have joint projects and investments in food industry, renewable energy, science and technology, justice, and the production of consumer goods and construction materials.

The Asian country exports rice, coal, chemical products, textiles and electronic components to Cuba, and imports mainly pharmaceutical products from the island. EFE


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