Cuba strengthens its vaccine candidates against Covid-19

Havana - Cuban scientists are investigating today mutations of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which causes Covid-19, in order to strengthen the vaccine candidates that the country is developing against this disease and guarantee effective immunization strategies.

So far, there has been no evidence that the current mutations affect the protective response of Cuban vaccine candidates, but it is necessary to stay vigilant, Gerardo Guillen claimed, director of Biomedical Research of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.

He told Agencia Cubana de Noticias that experts of that institution are training to fight variants of the disease, which are more infectious.

In this regard, researches are including new proteins in their candidates to diversify the protective response, he said.

The Doctor in Medical Sciences reiterated the effectiveness shown by Mambisa (CIGB 669) and Abdala (CIGB 66), drugs developed by this center, administered nasally and intramuscularly, respectively.

The preliminary results are proving their adequacy without having severe adverse effects, the researcher and full professor said.

He said that the advantages are very safe because both are obtained from recombinant proteins through genetic engineering and do not use the living virus.

This will allow the administration of more doses if immunity decreases and their use to reinforce other vaccines also, the expert pointed out.

This Caribbean nation has another two vaccine candidates in place, which are having positive results in clinical trials in humans, Soberana 01 and Soberana 02, developed by the Finlay Vaccine Institute.

In August, with Soberana 01, Cuba became the first country from Latin America and the Caribbean, and the 30th worldwide, to be cleared to start clinical trials of a vaccine candidate against Covid-19.

In addition, early in November, WHO included Soberana 02 in the official website of projects under the phase of clinical trials against this disease.

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