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Cuba approves emergency use of homemade COVID-19 vaccine

Xinhua | Updated: 2021-07-10 08:26
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A nurse applies a dose of Abdala vaccine against the coronavirus at a vaccination center in Havana, Cuba, June 23, 2021. REUTERS/Alexandre Meneghini

HAVANA -- The Cuban Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices on Friday gave emergency use authorization to Abdala, one of five vaccines against COVID-19 being developed by Cuban scientists.

The regulatory body said in a statement it granted emergency use authorization to Abdala "once it was confirmed that the requirements and parameters demanded in terms of quality, safety and efficacy were met."

According to Cuban scientists, the vaccine developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) has an efficacy rate of 92.28 percent in three doses administered at 14-day intervals.

The decision makes Abdala the first vaccine made in Latin America that meets the requirements for large-scale use in the country and even for export.

According to the latest data from the Cuban Ministry of Health, more than 7 million doses of Cuban vaccines have been administered, and just over 3 million Cubans have received at least one dose as participants in clinical trials or in emergency intervention.

Cuba on Friday saw its worst pandemic figures since the start of its outbreak 16 months ago, with 6,422 new cases of COVID-19 infection and 28 more deaths in 24 hours, raising the caseload to 224,818 and the death toll to 1,459. 

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