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Cuban Vaccines Against COVID-19 in the Works

Centro de Inmunoensayo, a leading research center in Cuba. Photo: Twitter

The Cuban scientific community has continued research and development and is now about to take another step in the island’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world. There are currently four vaccine candidates under development and testing at the Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV).

With an eye not only on Cuban citizens but also on other countries, Cuban science, centralized and focused, is working in pursuit of this objective, despite the fact that it does not have abundant resources from investors.

The director of BioCubaFarma, Dr. C. Eduardo Martinez Diaz said much progress has been made by the Finlay Institute, the entity in charge of leading projects to achieve a vaccine.

There is speculation in the media that due to the excellent relations between Russia and Cuba, it will be possible for the current “Sputnik V” vaccine to be produced in Cuban facilities. This will support the distribution of the Russian vaccine among countries in the Western Hemisphere.

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On the Round Table broadcast on Cuban television Dr. C. Rolando Perez Rodriguez, Director of Science and Innovation at BioCubaFarma said the country is working in coordination to apply scientific knowledge to obtain results.

Dr. Perez said that the strengthening of the science sector is a national goal and therefore priority is given to find solutions in critical situations like this.

An example of this is the letter sent by a group of Minnesota State Senators and Representatives to State Governor Tim Walz urging him to seek collaboration with Cuba’s scientific and health entities. This marks a milestone in this direction. The letter bases its request on the tangible results achieved by Cuba, its science and its health system in the fight against COVID-19.

For preventive purposes, five products have been evaluated that are capable of stimulating immunity, both innate and adaptive, for different risk groups (including medical personnel). Because of their antiviral action, four products have been used on newly diagnosed patients infected by the virus. Two of these specifically counteract the cytosine storm process.

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The Centro de Inmunoensayo (CIE) is working on three diagnostic systems, which will give the Cuban health system the capacity to carry out mass testing in the country’s population, given the existence of a national system based on the SUMA technique. The national production of artificial respirators, coordinated by the Cuban Centre for Neurosciences, is already ongoing.

To conclude, it should be added that the CIGB-300 peptide is in phase I. CIGB-300 peptide is a molecule used to inhibit cancer cells and has been used as an antiviral against COVID-19.

During tests carried out on critical patients, it was demonstrated that CIGB 325, the COVID variant of the product, has a great antiviral effect to inhibit inflammatory lung lesions in those patients. According to Cuban specialists, the new protocol for the care of patients with COVID will include the CIGB 325.

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This “artillery” created by Cuban science and used by its health system makes it possible to have unified treatment protocols, whose latest version (number 5) includes seven products developed and manufactured by the country and six products of national production.

The Cuban president said that Cuba is willing to share these achievements with other countries that request them, including the United States.

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