Thursday, January 13, 2022

Cuba develops its own COVID vaccines

Shout-out to much-maligned Cuba for independently developing several COVID-19 vaccines, and vaccinating almost 90% of their population.

It's easy to forget that Cuba has always had a well-developed healthcare and medical sector. They have had to forge their own path for decades in the face of ongoing trade sanctions by the USA and other countries, and a remarkably good job they have done of it too.

It took a while, compared to the well-funded Pfizers and Modernas of this world, but Cuba now has no fewer than five working home-grown vaccines, all of which which have an effectiveness of around 90% with three doses. They are all "subunit protein vaccines" (similar to the Novavax vaccine and CORBEVAX), which are cheap to produce and do not need special deep-freeze storage. They could prove to be a game-changer for many poorer countries in Africa, Asia and South America, once they are peer-reviewed and approved by the World Health Organization (which seems to be taking an inordinately long time).

The tiny Caribbean country has already inoculated over 86% of its own population with three doses, with another 7% partially vaccinated. This is one of the highest vaccination rates in the world, and includes kids from the age of two.

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