The Cuban Covid vaccine can be made eligible for tourists

The Cuban Covid vaccine can be made eligible for tourists

A man stands near the Cuban national flag at the Melia Varadero International Hotel in Matanzas Province, on October 23, 2020. Varadero, Cuba’s most important beach resort, is reopening to international tourism, amid the Coronavirus pandemic.

Yamil Lage | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

Cuba’s most advanced Covid-19 vaccine is set to enter the final phase of clinical trials next week, pushing the small island nation closer to achieving an exceptional medical achievement that analysts believe will have far-reaching consequences across the global South.

The vaccine is called the most promising candidate in Cuba, among the four vaccines in development Sovereignty 02. The name of the vaccine translates from Spanish to “sovereignty,” ostensibly to Cuba’s sense of national pride in its world-famous health system.

Soberana 02 is scheduled to enter Phase 3 trials from March 1, and Officials say The tests will involve up to 150,000 volunteers in a matter of weeks. Phase 3 trials represent the final stage before the vaccine is generally approved by national regulators.

This comes at a time when many people in Cuba have to wait in line for hours to buy essential goods, and as the authorities continue to pass the decades-old US trade embargo – with sanctions being tightened even more in recent years by former President Donald Trump.

“It’s just this amazing duality,” Helen Yaffe, an expert and lecturer in economic and social history at the University of Glasgow, Scotland, told CNBC by phone.

“On the one hand, you have the high-tech biotech sector that brings a lot of hope to the global south because it is an affordable vaccine possibility – (and) the vaccination of the global south will be the priority,” Yaffe said.

Meanwhile, Cubans wake up at 4 or 5 am to queue because there is a real dearth of basic foodstuffs and even medicine.

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What do we know about Soberana 02?

How it works?

People queue to buy food in Havana, on February 2, 2021, as cases of Covid-19 virus increase in the island country.

Yamil Lage | Agence France-Presse | Getty Images

In a virtual session led by the Pan American Health Organization On February 5thSoberana 02 returned “encouraging results” during the early stages of the test, Dr. Ferris said. He added that the vaccination has not produced any major negative reactions so far.

The Cuban government has it She said It will produce 100 million doses of Soberana 02 this year to meet the demands of its own citizens as well as those of other countries. It aims to be one of the first countries in the world to vaccinate all of its residents in 2021, despite the fact that many developed countries began giving vaccinations nearly two months ago.

Several countries have expressed interest in getting the vaccine, such as Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela and the African Union – which represents all 55 of Africa.

Cuba, which has recorded relatively few cases of COVID-19 compared to other countries in the region, has seen a sharp rise in infections and deaths in recent weeks. To date, Cuba has recorded 45,361 cases of coronavirus and 300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

“One of the world’s best kept secrets”

Cuba has long been famous for its medical diplomacy, having sent thousands of specialized personnel abroad to help countries deal with short-term crises, natural disasters and medical emergencies.

Have human rights groups Expressed concern That the Cuban government imposes oppressive rules on doctors working abroad, under the pretext of the right to privacy, freedom, freedom of expression and association.

At the start of the Covid-19 outbreak, it was estimated that Cuba had 24,500 medical personnel working in 58 countries. Another 4,000 members of the Cuban Henry Rif Brigade, a group of respected health professionals, have gone to work in countries from Kuwait to Mexico and Italy to South Africa.

Cuban doctors during a welcome ceremony for Cuban health workers deployed to the Western Cape to support efforts to combat COVID-19 on May 24, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa.

Misha Jordan | Gallo Pictures via Getty Images

It is a deeply rooted tradition that means that a country of more than 11 million people is believed to have more medical workers abroad than all of the G7 countries combined.

“This is an extraordinary record, basically unknown by the mainstream media – it’s one of the best kept secrets in the world,” John Kirk, a professor in the Latin America program at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia, Canada, told CNBC by email. .

“Medical universality is found in Cuban DNA, and in fact the preamble to the Cuban Constitution mentions Cuba’s commitment to sharing its medical talents with developing countries,” he added.

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