“We are getting closer to the moment when we can safely vaccinate the population en masse,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said this Tuesday during a meeting with scientists and experts in charge of developing drugs against COVID-19 on the island.
Cuba is preparing to begin the third phase of clinical trials of its vaccine candidates Soberana 02, in Havana, and Abdala, in Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo; it also plans to carry out the second stage of the study with Soberana 01 in the province of Cienfuegos, Cubadebate reported.
Muy pronto, fase 3 de ensayos clínicos de #Soberana02 y #Abdala en La Habana, Santiago y Guantánamo, con más de 85 mil voluntarios. También fase 2 de #Soberana01 en Cienfuegos. Venga la esperanza, pero no olvidemos la responsabilidad. #SomosCuba #CubaViva pic.twitter.com/Ap3uEc8OlL
— Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) March 3, 2021
The general director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, Vicente Vérez, said that Soberana 01 “is more alive than ever” and explained that after concluding the first phase of the study in humans, the candidate will be tested in around 700 Cienfuegos residents, aged 19 to 80.
In addition, Vérez referred to the fifth vaccine candidate developed in Cuba, Soberana 01A, which is intended to reduce the risks in convalescent patients of the contagious disease, if they were to be reinfected, the source indicated.
For her part, the general director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), Marta Ayala, updated the Cuban authorities on the progress of the clinical trials of Abdala and Mambisa, the vaccine candidates this institution is developing.
She said that phase II should conclude this week with the first of them, in Santiago de Cuba.
“In terms of an immune response, the results that have been obtained so far are very good and they also give us security,” she commented.
Ayala stressed that the third phase of Abdala’s trials “must begin” this month, with the participation of 42,000 volunteers from Santiago de Cuba and Guantánamo.
Likewise, the director of the CIGB explained the good results obtained in the tests of Mambisa, a nasal application vaccine candidate that passed phase I of the clinical trial, and whose use is also evaluated in convalescent people after having overcome the disease.
The Cuban president asked the scientists to work with “an enormous responsibility not to risk human lives; on the contrary, that the responses are effective, durable, sustainable and put us in a good position to defeat the pandemic.”
Cited by the source, Díaz-Canel insisted on the responsible role that the Center for the State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED) must play, in the midst of a context marked by “need” and “enthusiasm.”