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Cuba's COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate Preps for Summer Launch

April 1, 2021 • 3:21 pm CDT
(Precision Vaccinations)

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Based on as-yet-unpublished results from early-stage clinical trials, Vicente Verez-Bencomo, director-general of the Finlay Institute, expects the vaccine to show vaccine efficacy in the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.

The Finlay Institute in Havana produces the Soberana 02 vaccine candidate.

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.