Cuba’s COVID-19 Vaccine is 92% Effective, Late-Stage Trials Show
Cuba’s Abdala vaccine is 92% effective against the novel coronavirus, according to a recent analysis of late-stage trials.
BioCubaFarma, the country’s state-run biopharmaceutical company that oversees the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, the maker of the Abdala vaccine, made the announcement on Monday.
In a tweet by BioCubaFarma on Monday, the company said the vaccine “shows an efficacy of 92.28 percent in its three-dose scheme." This efficacy rate falls well above the World Health Organization’s 50% efficacy threshold for COVID-19 vaccines to provide protection against SARS-CoV-2 or COVID-19.
Days before the Abdala findings were publicized, Cuba also stated the Finlay Institute’s Soberana 2 shot was 62% effective with only two out of three doses.
Cuba is currently testing five COVID-9 vaccine candidates, including Abdala and Soberana 2. Both Abdala and Soberana 2 are expected to receive emergency authorization for use by Cuban regulators in the coming weeks.
The nation decided against importing COVID-19 vaccines from other countries and instead opted to rely on its own scientists for vaccine development. As reported by Reuters, this potentially risky decision may have ultimately polished Cuba’s scientific reputation and produced necessary hard currency through exports.
So far, several countries have shown an interest in purchasing Cuba’s vaccines, including Argentina, Jamaica, Mexico, Vietnam and Venezuela.
Authorities in Cuba have begun administering the investigational Abdala and Soberana 2 vaccines in a group as part of intervention studies, with hopes that doing so will mitigate viral spread across the population. Approximately 1 million of Cuba’s residents have been fully vaccinated.
Cuba’s efforts to bolster its own vaccines somewhat reflect Russia’s recent maneuvers to hype its own COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V. Back in March, it was reported that Russia was allegedly engaging in a disinformation campaign against Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine in hopes it boost sales of the Sputnik V vaccine.
The Wall Street Journal was the first outlet to report the U.S. Department of State’s identification of several Russian publications supposedly raising concerns regarding the safety and efficacy of the Pfizer and BioNTech shot.
“We can say these outlets are directly linked to Russian intelligence services,” according to an official with the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, who spoke to the Journal on the sites behind the disinformation campaign. “They’re all foreign-owned, based outside of the United States. They vary a lot in their reach, their tone, their audience, but they’re all part of the Russian propaganda and disinformation ecosystem.”
The Russian publications also allegedly note the western-developed vaccines were rushed through development and regulatory processes, ignoring the fact Sputnik V was authorized in August, well before Pfizer and Moderna’s shots received emergency use authorization.
Russia’s government reported its vaccine had an efficacy rate of 92%, which was subsequently validated in peer-reviewed research. However, the vaccine continues to remain controversial, even while being administered in 39 countries with plans to distribute in an additional 27 nations. For instance, it was reported in mid-May that a group of international scientists emphasized concerns regarding patterns in The Lancet data on the vaccine, which were consistent with data manipulation.