Mexico, Argentina, Brazil … and now Cuba. The government in Havana announced that it will begin running human tests for its “Soberana 01” Covid-19 vaccine. According to the head of epidemiology at Cuba’s public health ministry Francisco Duran, “finding an efficient vaccine to fight the virus is the top priority for our science and innovation system.”
The medicine is expected to be made available in February 2021 and health authorities authorized trials on 676 volunteers between the ages of 19 and 80. President of BioCubaFarma Eduardo Martinez said that “a look at the nation’s Finlay Institute showed how much progress could be made in this field in a very short time.” The Finlay Institute is a state-owned science center in the capital, responsible for vaccine research.
The ‘other’ vaccine from Cuba
In March, Guilherme Boulos, candidate for São Paulo mayor for the left-wing Socialist and Liberty Party, shared false information on his Twitter account that claimed Cuba had already developed a vaccine. After being debunked by fact-checking agencies, Mr. Boulos retracted his post and said it was “an antiviral drug and not a vaccine.” The mistake was repeated by several figures on the Brazilian left.
Regardless, Cuba has been one of the biggest success stories of the Covid-19 pandemic so far, with the lowest number of cases and deaths in Latin America, as The Brazilian Report showed.Support this coverage →