France will support the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV) with 45 million euros (equivalent to 52.8 million dollars) to expand its production capacity for pneumonia and meningitis vaccines, mainly destined for Africa.
The financing will come through a donation from the Franco-Cuban Equity Fund and its first outlay this year will make it possible to acquire equipment and the remodeling of production and research complexes, as explained this Wednesday by the French ambassador to Cuba, Patrice Paoli.
#Francia apoya el @FinlayInstituto con un financiamiento de 45 M€, para mejorar la producción de vacunas contra la meningitis y la neumonía, en parte gracias a su Fondo de contravalor!@FranceACuba @PresidenciaCuba @BencomoVerez @MINCEX_CUBA pic.twitter.com/rPHD0buWuN
— France à Cuba (@FranceACuba) September 22, 2021
In statements after the signing of the agreement, the French diplomat said that both the quantitative and qualitative increase in the production of vaccines, in accordance with international quality standards, will have a benefit for the Cuban population and developing nations.
“As they are safe and affordable vaccines, they are important to preserve health and help reduce inequalities in vaccination, meningitis being a danger to be faced,” said Paoli, quoted by the Agencia Cubana de Noticias (ACN) news agency.
The IFV developed in 1989 the VA-MENGOC-BC vaccine against meningococcal disease caused by serogroups B and C, and the Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus formulas, two of the three immunogens that are applied in Cuba against the coronavirus, which causes COVID-19.
El convenio #Cuba– #Francia es un paso decisivo que permitirá el incremento cuantativo y cualitativo en la producción de las vacunas, acordes a los estándares de calidad internacional, los cual tendrá un beneficio para la población cubana y las naciones en vía de desarrollo. pic.twitter.com/O5VgNnKujx
— Instituto Finlay de Vacunas (@FinlayInstituto) September 23, 2021
The director of the IFV, Vicente Vérez, pointed out that conjugate vaccines — the platform on which Soberana 02 is based — are widely used in young children to defeat bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, because infants do not respond to the antigens that these bacteria have.
He also explained that this investment, lasting three years, will make it possible to increase the standard of that scientific institution by modernizing the control and quality assurance departments, development, clinical trials and impact assessment, as well as the renovation of the production plants.