Cuba is today making headlines in international media with our five candidate vaccines, a real feat accomplished with no other motivation than to defeat the pandemic, because of an indisputable truth
Just a little more than two months after the coronavirus pandemic became part of the planet’s history, Cuba had not yet registered a single case. Now, exactly one year following the appearance of the first patients within our national territory, we have not had a day’s rest in the battle against COVID-19.
✔️21 – 3 – 1889 "Es probable que ningún cubano que tenga en algo su decoro desee ver su país unido a otro donde los que guían la opinión comparten con respecto a él las preocupaciones sólo excusables a la política fanfarrona o la desordenada ignorancia." #SomosCuba pic.twitter.com/sQ6zqcKSfD— Memorial José Martí 🇨🇺 (@MemorialJMarti) March 21, 2021
From the first world we received terrifying images: hospitals and morgues overwhelmed; desolate testimonies, pain, covered faces, no kisses, no embraces, physical distancing.
A British cruise ship with infected passengers aboard, in need of safe harbor and some way to send the sick back to their country, was rejected by other governments. It was Cuba, in love with life, that assumed the operation others feared.
The world was not surprised to see the image of that moving message displayed from the ship’s deck: Thank you, Cuba. Much less our people. Accustomed to solidarity and the satisfaction that good deeds give us, the gesture seemed totally natural.
Nor was anyone surprised to see leaders of our institutions appear on television to speak to the people as the epidemic spread.
No one doubted that medical care for all Cubans would be guaranteed, of course, free of charge, regardless of the most economic circumstances caused by a brutal blockade against our country. It came as no surprise to see Henry Reeve brigades set off to distant lands to restore health to so many citizens of the world.
Cuba is today making headlines in international media with our five candidate vaccines, a real feat accomplished with no other motivation than to defeat the pandemic, because of an indisputable truth. Nor is this note the work of chance.
This magic was forged by a man who thought of everything and has lasted more than 60 years. History does not allow us to lie; Fidel lives on, building and founding.
Behind Cuba’s successful pandemic response
Cuba’s long-standing commitment to health has led to a successful COVID-19 pandemic response, but it is threatened by financial and supplier issues. Talha Burki reports.
As The Lancet Infectious Diseases went to press, Cuba was due to launch a phase 3 trial of its subunit conjugate vaccine against COVID-19. Soberana-2 is one of four candidate COVID-19 vaccines in development in Cuba. It is produced by the Finlay Institute in Havana. On the basis of as-yet-unpublished results from early-stage clinical trials, Vicente Verez-Bencomo, director-general of the Finlay Institute, expects the vaccine to show an efficacy in the region of 80–95%. “We are very optimistic”, he said. If everything goes according to plan, Cuba could start a mass vaccination programme for its 11·2 million citizens sometime in the summer.