Researchers are working long shifts on Cuba’s best shot to solve its coronavirus crisis.

It is called Soberana 2, the island’s domestically-produced Covid-19 vaccine.

Soberana (Spanish for “sovereign”) 2 is a conjugate vaccine – meaning an antigen is fused to a carrier molecule to bolster the vaccine’s stability and effectiveness.

Within weeks, it will be tested on tens of thousands of volunteers.

The results from the first clinical trials were “encouraging” and “very important”, says the institute’s director, Vicente Vérez Bencomo, and the Communist-run government hopes to give the vaccine to everyone on the island by the end of the year.

It is an ambitious goal but a realistic one as Cuba has more than 30 years of experience in biotechnology and immunology.

However, it remains beyond the island’s production capacity to make 100 million doses of the vaccine without some form of international assistance.

Still, even if the US government under President Joe Biden reverses the hard line former President Trump took towards Cuba, the US will not play a role in producing Soberana.


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