Cuba Starts Large-Scale Production of Soberana 02 Vaccine

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BioCubaFarma business group’s President Eduardo Martinez Sunday informed on the large-scale production of a new batch of Soberana 02, the most advanced COVID-19 vaccine developed by the country so far.

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“The effort to have a vaccine that protects Cubans and helps other peoples is enormous. We are moving forward, but under incredible political hostility,” Martinez said and informed that Soberana 02 is being produced at the National Bio-preparations Center (BIOCEN).

“We are under a lot of pressure due to the COVID-19 health emergency. However, Cuba is complying with every step to guarantee high-quality standards,” the official added, recalling that the country’s bio-technologic sector has sufficient production capacities.

Health authorities will use the new vaccine batch during the Phase III of clinical trials, which will begin in March and will include thousands of Cubans and volunteers abroad.

In early February, the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry produced the first batch of 150,000 doses. “That mass production was a scientific-technological milestone for the country,” Martinez commented.

On Dec. 22, Soberana 02 entered Phase II clinical trials, becoming the first Latin American vaccine to reach that stage.

“If Soberana 02 proves to be safe and effective, the Cuban government would win an important political victory,” U.S.-based journalists Ed Augustin and Natalie Kitroeff reported.

“Cuba has been investing in biotechnology since the 1980s in response to the U.S. economic blockade that makes it difficult to get foreign-produced drugs,” the reporters wrote in the New York Times.

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