The collaboration between Cuba and Italy to fight the COVID-19 pandemic is moving forward with the signing of a memorandum for the production of vaccines from the island, highlighted today the Indian portal Peoples Dispatch.
Cuba established its scientific prowess by creating five immunizers to contain the COVID-19 pandemic, three of which, approved for use, proved to be safe and with an efficacy of 90 percent, among the highest in the world, the publication noted.
The Caribbean state is collaborating with other nations to expand vaccine production, the portal indicated.
Iran was the first country to start producing the Cuban Soberana 02 conjugate vaccine, from the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV) in Havana, in a much-needed collaboration since both nations are facing strong U.S. sanctions and, consequently, a serious shortage of immunizers.
Italy joined this collaboration and a memorandum of understanding was signed in April 2022 between the IFV, the Italian company Adienne Pharma & Biotech and the Italian Agency for Economic and Cultural Exchange with Cuba.
The Italian company will soon begin production of the immunogen, which will become part of an international health cooperation mechanism and will be exported to other countries.
Nicoletta Dentico, head of the Global Health Program of the Society for International Development, hopes that this collaboration will provide additional arguments and evidence for the World Health Organization (WHO) to understand the importance of Soberana 02 for public health.
Through a conjugate vaccine technology that proved effective among children, Cuba became the first country to immunize infants as young as two years of age, and also proved highly effective in containing the spread of the Omicron variant of the disease-causing SARS-CoV-2.
During the current pandemic, Italy had one of the highest infection and mortality rates in the world and its healthcare system was strained by the increase in cases and Cuba sent medical teams to the most affected Italian regions, such as Lombardy and Piedmont, to help overworked Italian professionals.