June 17. Coronavirus infections have halved in Havana since authorities started administering Cuba’s experimental vaccines en masse in the capital a month ago, official data shows, raising hopes about their efficacy even as cases increase nationwide.
The cash-strapped country, which has a reputed state-run biotech sector, has declined to import vaccines but still hopes to be among the first in the region to have vaccinated its whole population by year-end.
Cuba has five experimental shots in various stages of clinical trials, with two in late phase trials already being administered en masse to the population in intervention studies – in particular in Havana, one of the worst-hit areas.
Cases in the capital have halved over the past month from a peak of around 800 per day, which officials have suggested is due to both the vaccines and tighter restrictions on gatherings and movement.
Around 4.5% of Cuba’s 11 million inhabitants have received all three doses required for the country’s two most advanced vaccine candidates, Abdala and Soberana 2, state-run media reported this week.
State-run biopharmaceutical corporation BioCubaFarma has talked about the potential for exporting the vaccines once the entire population is vaccinated.