Cuba is currently developing different COVID19 vaccines. One of the most promising candidates of the four is the Soberana 02. This translates to “Sovereign” which is a nod to Cuba’s pride and world-famous medical system.
What makes the Soberana 02 vaccine unique is that it doesn’t require refrigeration. It is a conjugate vaccine that will allow easy storage.
The Soberana 02 enters Phase 3 trials by March 1. The vaccine is to be tested on 150,000 participants within the week. This is the final phase before it becomes approved by regulators. Cuba expert and lecturer at the University of Glasgow Helen Yaffe calls Cuba an “incredible dichotomy”. While Cuba has a high-tech biotech sector, there’s a scarcity of basic supplies in the island nation.
Tourists Receiving the Vaccine?
Finlay Institute, Cuba’s biopharma institution is the one in charge of developing the Soberana 02. The institute’s director Dr. Vicente Verez hinted at the possibility of vaccinating tourists later in 2021. Dr. Verez also mentioned that this vaccine hasn’t generated significant adverse reactions yet.
If things go according to plan, Cuba will be the first Latin American country to have immunized its citizens using their own locally developed vaccine. Though there’s no concrete plan to inoculate tourists yet, analysts believe that it isn’t far from happening. Tourists could potentially get the first dose in Cuba and the subsequent doses to be taken home.
Cuban government already expressed interest to generate 100 million doses of the Soberana 02 this year to not only meet the demands of its citizens but other countries as well. Countries that expressed interest in the vaccine included Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela, and 55 other African countries under the African Union.
After a year of travel restrictions, many are already looking to travel by Summer. Cuba is a top contender for the ideal summer destination with its beautiful beaches and 1950s vibe. And with a vaccine, travelers may choose Cuba not only for a vacation but possibly for its vaccine as well.
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