The COVID-19 vaccines designed and produced in Cuba have the capacity to generate antibodies against the Omicron variant of SARS-CoV-2 that causes this disease, according to Cuban Minister of Public Health Dr. José Ángel Portal Miranda.
The minister affirmed on the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP) website that preliminary studies carried out by the Pedro Kurí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK) in those immunized with the Soberana and Abdala vaccines show high percentages of seroconversion against the new strain of coronavirus.
“Our vaccines have the capacity to generate antibodies against this new variant of the virus,” Portal Miranda assured in his text, in which he also confirms that Omicron is the strain that currently predominates in the Caribbean country, according to sequencing studies of samples in COVID-19 patients.
The minister stressed that the effectiveness of Cuban vaccines against the new variant could be seen in 90% of those immunized with Soberana 02 and Abdala, while that figure reaches all those vaccinated with booster doses of Soberana 01 and Abdala.
Based on the research carried out, high levels of neutralizing antibodies were observed in those vaccinated with a full dose of Abdala and Soberana 02. These titers increase when the booster dose is applied, Portal Miranda pointed out in his publication.
“The appearance of Omicron did not catch us off guard,” the island’s highest health authority said, before recalling that when the presence of this strain was detected for the first time in the country, the booster dose had already started being administered, a process that so far has reached more than 4 million Cubans.
The minister also acknowledged that Cuba does not escape the high transmission of COVID-19 that the Omicron variant has imposed on the planet, but explained that the strategy of early vaccination and the application of booster doses has been a great strength that has made it possible to face the new epidemiological scenario “in a very different way from the world.”
The expert also noted that the pandemic is still going strong. “The spread of the Omicron variant around the world has set off the alarms again and shows how vulnerable we continue to be to the virus,” Portal Miranda said in his text.
Since the end of 2021, Cuba has experienced a growth in COVID-19 cases, which in recent weeks has stabilized at around 3,000 positive cases per day. However, deaths have not reached the alarming numbers they had at the highest peak of the pandemic, which has kept the mortality rate one of the lowest in America and below the world average.