On Monday, Cuba began the second doses of the candidates Soberana and Abdala vaccines, in phase III of clinical trials, after setting a record of number of 44,010 vaccinated with the first dose.
According to Yury Valdés Balbín, deputy director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, the 44,010 volunteers were vaccinated with the first dose of Soberana 02 in just 19 days, complying with all World Health Organization protocols.
In the first week, 4,779 volunteers were vaccinated. During the second week, 12,788, and in the third, 17,945. Within 19 days, Cuba was able to vaccinate 44,010 people.
The deputy director added that “there are clinical trials of vaccines in the world today that took two and three months to complete their samples. And our sample has been superior. No one has reached these levels.
It was a very great effort to achieve this in 19 days, with a high standard and with an inspection by the Center for Drug Control during 10 days, which is also unprecedented in history.
The scientist pointed out that “We had to computerize the complete study, one of the most complex and innovative elements we have had. Today Cuba has a database of vaccinated people, developed by GeoCuba, and we also had to articulate that database of vaccinated people with the medical records of the Ministry of Public Health, which talks about the evolution, and the data of all the PCRs.”
How Did Cuba Achieve This?
First, because of the integration of its health institutions.
Secondly, because of the capacities already in place. What differentiated Cuba from other parts of the world is that it has capabilities to confront a pandemic such as this. You cannot face the pandemic by generating new ones, they have to exist. It would not be possible without human potential, ideas, pharmaceutical development, production capabilities, biostatistical trial designs, and other capabilities – already in place.
And third, because there was something that the clinical trial lacked: the drive that an exercise like this should have. Cuba turned to young people from three universities who guarantee data capture and provided support in the vaccination centers.
In the eastern provinces, the supply of the first dose to the 48,000 volunteers in these trials has been completed. Dr C. Francisco Hernández said that having recruited 48,000 volunteers in only 10 days, and that all of them have the first dose applied, is epic.
An intervention study is being carried out in Cuba with prioritized personnel, including health personnel and other high-risk entities.
As of April 1, 61,512 people have been vaccinated in Havana province and 971 in the eastern provinces. It is estimated that this trial will include about 150 members of health institutions and front-line workers.