The Cuban government earlier this week announced that they will administer experimental Covid19 vaccines to nearly all residents of its capital Havana, come May.
This announcement comes as health officials conduct widespread interventional studies and late-stage trials.
This month, late-stage trials started for two of its five experimental jabs, called Soberana 2 and Abdala, which will be the first homegrown vaccines in the Latin American region if they are successful. These vaccines are separate from another shot that it has already dispensed to 150,000 of the city’s frontliners.
Health authorities further said that they can start applying for emergency use authorization for the two vaccines in June, which, if approved, could put them “on track to a more massive vaccination of the population,” said the health ministry’s director of science and technological innovation.
This mass vaccination would begin with at-risk groups, particularly the senior citizen population and healthcare workers.
They are eyeing to have vaccinated 6 million citizens by August, and all of Cuba’s 11 million inhabitants by the end of the year.
This island nation had formed a large biotech sector due in part to a need for self-sufficiency after a United States trade ban. Venezuela and Iran, also countries facing US penalties, have said that they will also trial the Cuban vaccines.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, Cuba has logged over 68,000 cases and more than 400 deaths, one of the lowest rates in the world per capita.