Cuba's COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Preps for Summer Launch
As The Lancet Infectious Diseases went to press on April 1, 2021, the Republic of Cuba was due to launch a phase 3 clinical trial of its subunit conjugate vaccine against COVID-19, known as Soberana-2 (FINLAY-FR-2).
A second phase 3 trial of the Soberana-2 vaccine is planned for Iran as part of a partnership between the Finlay Institute and the Pasteur Institute of Iran.
Based on as-yet-unpublished results from early-stage clinical trials, Vicente Verez-Bencomo, director-general of the Finlay Institute, expects the vaccine to show vaccine efficacy in the region of 80–95%, reported The Lancet. If everything goes according to plan, Cuba could start a mass vaccination program for its 11 million citizens sometime in the summer of 2021, reported Talha Burki.
“We are very optimistic,” Verez-Bencomo commented.
If Soberana-2's clinical trials prove successful, Cuba plans to export it at a low cost after meeting national vaccination efforts. Verez-Bencomo reckons that by the end of the summer Cuba would have the capacity to produce 10 million vaccine doses per month, reported The Lancet.