Cuban regulators approve 2 more Covid-19 vaccines

Havana, Aug 20 (EFE).- Six weeks after authorizing use of the domestically developed Abdala vaccine against Covid-19, Cuba’s CECMED medical safety agency gave approval Friday to two other formulas created by scientists on the Communist-ruled island.

Cuban health officials said that the combination of two doses of Soberana 02 and a single injection of Soberana Plus proved 91.2 percent effective in clinical trials, while the three-dose Abdala vaccine achieved 92 percent efficacy among 48,000 test subjects ranging in age from 19 to 80.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated CECMED as a Regional Reference Authority for medicines in the Americas, meaning that the Cuban agency can certify drugs for use throughout the region.

Approval of Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus comes as Cuba is struggling to contain a Covid-19 surge reflected in a daily average of 8,000 new cases and 70 additional deaths.

Cuba, a nation of 11.2 million people, has the highest incidence of infection in the Americas, with 1,173 cases for every 100,000 inhabitants, according to the Ministry of Public Health.

The total number of cases in Cuba since the start of the pandemic in March 2020 has topped 564,000, while the death toll stands at 4,397.

Cuba’s effort against coronavirus has been hampered by shortages of oxygen and medications as the island remains under the economic embargo imposed by the United States in 1962.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s government has set a goal of vaccinating the entire population by the end of this year.

More than 3 million Cubans have been fully vaccinated with Abdala or Soberana 02/Soberana Plus as part of expanded clinical trials. EFE


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