Category Archives: CUBA’S VACCINE

The Cuban accomplishment, achieved despite the United States’ draconian blockade, is remarkable.

APRIL 2, 2021
Some Standard Cynical CIA-Style Cuba Covid Reporting at The Washington Post
BY PAUL STREET FacebookTwitterRedditEmail



Photograph Source: Martin Abegglen from Bern, Switzerland – CC BY-SA 2.0
Never underestimate the cynicism of American corporate media. As the Scotland-based historian Helen Yaffe recently observed on Counterpunch, the socialist state of Cuba currently has five COVID-19 vaccines in clinical trials “and is set to be among the first nations to vaccinate its entire population.” Further: “Cuba has gone on the offensive against Covid-19, mobilizing the prevention-focused, community based public healthcare system to carry out daily house visits to actively detect and treat cases and channeling the medical science sector to adapt and produce new treatments for patients and Covid-19 specific vaccines. These advances bring hope not just for Cuba, but for the world.”
Cuba has one of the lowest COVID-19 infection rates and one of the lowest COVID-19 death rates in the Western world. The relatively small island nation is the only Latin American country to have developed its own vaccine. We can expect Cuba to export its vaccine, as it has long exported its surplus medical workers, to other nations within and beyond Latin America. By the end of the year, the island nation of 11 million should be able to produce 100 million doses.
The Cuban accomplishment, achieved despite the United States’ draconian blockade, is remarkable. As Jaffe notes, it’s all about the socialism, the creation of a society outside and against the rule of imperialist capitalism. “Cuba,” Yaffe writes: “has become a world-leader in biotechnology because it has a socialist state with a centrally planned economy, that has invested in science and technology and puts human welfare before …capitalism and greed…. it is the absence of the capitalist profit motive which underlies the outstanding domestic and international response to Covid-19 by socialist Cuba…”
Indeed. Socialist Cuba, founded in part by a Marxist physician (Che Guevera) who said that love for one’s fellow human beings was at the heart of being a revolutionary, puts humanity first, without concern for private accumulation and return. Imagine.
But journalists Anthony Faiola and Ana Vanessa Herrero, reporters at the longtime CIA-affiliated Washington Post, know better. All they can see in socialist Cuba’s humanistic COVID-19 achievements are an attempted “public relations coup for an isolated country that was added back to the U.S. list of state sponsors of terrorism in the final days of the Trump administration.”
The Yankee journalists with Hispanic names comment not on the many lives Cuba’s vaccines will protect and save but on how the Cuban vaccines “could make Cuba the pharmacist for nations lumped by Washington into the ‘Axis of Evil’ and ‘Troika of Tyranny’” – Iran and Venezuela.
Faiola and Herrero have nothing to say about the vicious Orwellian absurdity of Washington designating Cuba a terrorist state and lumping Cuba, Venezuela, and Iran into a “Troika of Tyranny – or of Washington’s longstanding enforcement of Cuba’s “isolated” status (punishment for the unforgivable sin of breaking off from U.S.-imperialist rule).
But the imperial scribes Faiola and Herrero are happy to quote the right-wing Cuba critic Eric Farnsworth, vice president of the U.S.-dominated Council of the Americas, on how Cuba’s vaccines will “soften the image of a country that’s being accused of doing some pretty bad things. It undermines the message that Cuba is a broadly authoritarian country that can’t produce anything good,” Failoa and Herrero write.
And who puts out that slanderous image and message of Cuba, a beacon of humanitarian and egalitarian policy and values? United States propagandists like Eric Farnsworth, of course, with help from their good friends at the Washington Post and other major U.S. media outlets.
The Post reporters also accuse Cuba of trying to profit from “vaccine tourists” and vaccine exports, as if there would be something wrong with the socialist nation trying to pay for its outstanding experiment in non-capitalist life over and against Uncle Sam’s brutal embargo and sanctions.
Never mind that, as the reporters note, Cuba “will provide its vaccines free or at cost to poorer nations.”
Oh, “But,” Faiola and Herrero write, “it could charge a premium to others, making money in a manner similar to the profits it reaps from its medical brigades, or emergency teams of doctors and nurses experienced in combating global outbreaks and dispatched in large numbers last year to aid hard-hit countries in the coronavirus fight.”
Profits for who? For Cuban Big Pharma executives living in grand, super-opulent mansions, with armed security personnel guarding absurdly wealthy occupants against desperately poor masses living in sprawling slums like the ones that pockmark Latin American cities like Bogota, Quito, Lima, Sao Paolo, and Rio de Janiero? No, for the Cuban socialist state and its extraordinary medical-industrial complex and educational system, which serve a nation that remarkably combines a high standard of living with a low carbon footprint.
“A successful vaccine.” Faioa and Herrero observe, “could become a vital new source of revenue for Cuba, which has been suffering a brutal economic crisis that has citizens waiting hours in line to buy scarce food, soap and toothpaste. The economy worsened under Trump-era sanctions that tightened the long-standing U.S. economic embargo of Cuba by curbing remittances, scaling back U.S. flights, ending cruise ship passenger traffic and further complicating Cuba’s access to the global financial system.”
Well, gee, then let’s wish Cuba well in its vaccine development, no? Let’s end the embargo and remove the sanctions in order to help assist this remarkable island nation in its noble effort to fight death and disease, yes?
There’s no positive endorsement of Cuba’s achievement to be found in Failoa and Herrero’s report, of course. Their story ends with a quote from a Cuban government opponent who says that “Cuba thinks that this vaccine will give them political credit. If anything, this will serve as [more] propaganda.”
Imperial cynics and propagandists can only see the world through the lens of cynicism and propaganda, which they project on to others.
Paul Street’s new book is The Hollow Resistance: Obama, Trump, and Politics of Appeasement.

The administration of Soberana 02 to more than 150,000 persons

Cuba will vaccinate its entire population against COVID-19 in 2021
Dr. Eduardo Martínez, president of the BioCubaFarma state pharmaceutical enterprise group, reports that work is advancing to expand production capacity of Cuba’s candidate vaccine Soberana 02

Author: Nuria Barbosa León | internet@granma.cu
Author: Juan Diego Nusa Peñalver | internet@granma.cu
january 26, 2021 10:01:39

The BioCubaFarma enterprise group is adjusting capacity to make possible the administration of Soberana 02 to more than 150,000 persons, while a new clinical trial with children has been launched, as more steps are taken along the path to vaccinating the entire population.

Photo: BioCubaFarma
Cuba’s national public health system is waging a hard battle against the new coronavirus, sparing no effort and overcoming physical and intellectual fatigue.

The Party and government’s strong political will has made this possible, along with the impressive work of our scientists who have again reiterated that Cuba will be among the first countries in the world to vaccinate its entire population in 2021, despite the tightening of the U.S. blockade of the island over the past 12 months, stated Dr. Eduardo Martínez Díaz, president of the BioCubaFarma state pharmaceutical enterprise group, on his Twitter account.

The general director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, Dr. Vicente Vérez Bencomo, has reported that the country is preparing capacity to produce 100 million doses of the injectable Soberana 02 vaccine against COVID-19.

Regarding this announcement, Dr. María Eugenia Toledo Romaní, epidemiologist at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine (IPK), condemned the escalating sanctions imposed by the United States which have a negative impact on the effort to expand capacity toward this end, stating, “If we are obliged to purchase new machinery and erect more plants, this is extremely difficult given the limitations we face in acquiring the technologies.”

This is why BioCubaFarma is taking advantage of its international experience to sign agreements with other countries that can help with the needed resources and allow the project to advance.

Dr. Toledo additionally explained, “To conduct a Phase 3 clinical study of efficacy, in which we show that vaccinated subjects are less likely to become ill than those who were not vaccinated, we must measure this aspect and then make comparisons to find the necessary statistical evidence to finally determine that the candidate vaccine is no less effective than others on the world market.

SPARING NO EFFORT

Currently underway on the island is a Phase 2b expanded clinical trial

of the candidate vaccine Soberana 02 in persons between 19 and 80 years of age, in the Havana municipalities of La Lisa and Plaza de la Revolución.

Dr. Mayra García Carmenate, research coordinator at the 19 de Abril neighborhood polyclinic, explained that the site was selected for the trials because the facility has met the standard prerequisite of systematically adhering to “best practices,” and has participated in several months of training to prepare staff members involved and subjects who will receive either the vaccine or a placebo.

After administration of the vaccine, participants will remain under observation for one hour to evaluate any adverse side effects and will be actively monitored via out-patient follow up visits for a period of 28 days. If any reaction should occur, the subject is to immediately return to the clinic where a 24-hour medical post will be maintained to evaluate the situation and, if necessary, transfer the subject to the appropriate public health facility.

Dr. García noted that the community’s population is very enthusiastic and many have made their way to the clinic to volunteer. They have confidence in Cuba’s public health system and those selected are proud of their participation and the fact that their neighborhood was chosen for this type of clinical trial, she said, adding “None of those chosen during the recruitment have declined to sign the informed consent agreement.”

Volunteers and technical personnel alike are confident that Cuban science will defeat COVID-19 with intelligence and dedication.

Soberana is Cuba’s, the first candidate vaccine against COVID-19

Soberana is Cuba’s, the first candidate vaccine against COVID-19 in Latin America and the Caribbean
A vaccine that exemplifies the development of Cuban science; that places us on the level of economically advanced countries; that honors Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, the principal architect of the country’s biotechnology sector. This is what Soberana is, the first Cuban candidate vaccine against COVID-19 authorized for testing in clinical trials.

Yudy Castro Moralesaugust 27, 2020 09:08:37

Photo: Twitter
A vaccine that exemplifies the development of Cuban science; that places us on the level of economically advanced countries; that honors Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz, the principal architect of the country’s biotechnology sector. This is what Soberana is, the first Cuban candidate vaccine against COVID-19 authorized for testing in clinical trials.

To discuss the process of its development, entering the first phase of clinical trials the end of August, the results of which should be available early next year, and the accomplishment achieved by the joint work of a large group of Cuban scientists, leaders of the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), project researchers, and the assistant director of the State Center for Quality Control of Medications (Cecmed), appeared on Cuban television’s Mesa Redonda program.

This is vaccine candidate number 30 – the first in Latin America and the Caribbean – to receive authorization for clinical trials, among the more than 200 under development around the world, noted Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute. He emphasized that, given the lack of knowledge of the previously unknown virus, it was impossible to predict how quickly a COVID-19 vaccine could be developed, since projects of this kind generally take years.

Nevertheless, he said, over an unprecedented short period of time, much information on SARS-COV-2 has been generated around the world, and, again exceptionally, access to these scientific studies has been made available free of charge.

He recalled that, in the beginning, the first option to develop a vaccine was basically to cultivate the virus, inactivate it, and put the material to use, the well-known procedure used to develop vaccines of this nature. How this would work was not known precisely, but by this past January, the world was moving forward with the first efforts using traditional methods.

Subsequently, Vérez continued, after the virus’ genome mapping was completed in March, a group of vaccine projects based on this genetic information began to advance more rapidly, although reservations about them emerged. Continue reading Soberana is Cuba’s, the first candidate vaccine against COVID-19