HAVANA – Cuba announced on Sunday that it would vaccinate 150,000 frontline workers as part of the final phase of a clinical trial with the nation’s leading Covid-19 vaccine candidate.
Soberana 2 vaccine recordings will begin on Monday and will be aimed at medical and other high-risk personnel, authorities said.
“Cuba could immediately immunize 150,000 people against Covid-19, as the phase 3 study with this vaccine shows that it is very safe,” tweeted Foreign Trade and Investment Minister Rodrigo Malmierca.
Soberana 2 has been in the final phase of a clinical trial for the past three weeks, involving 44,000 volunteers from the general population.
The communist-led Caribbean island nation, which has years of experience developing and exporting vaccines, is one of the few in the region that has not yet started vaccinating against Covid as they are counting on their own candidates.
The Cuban Medicines Agency also approved a second Covid-19 vaccine candidate for late-stage clinical trials called Abdala on Thursday.
Cuba is experiencing the worst coronavirus outbreak since the pandemic began after opening its borders late last year.
The island of 11 million people registers 600 to 1,000 new cases every day, well above that or a handful a day for most of last year. Since the pandemic began, the country has reported 65,000 cases and 387 deaths, one of the lowest per capita rates in the world.
The government has vowed to vaccinate the entire population this year with one of its five experimental vaccines under development.