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North American scientists highlighted the capacity of the Cuban anti-Covid-19 model in emergencies

vacunas-cuba-580x326Scientists from the United States today praised Cuba’s ability to develop and vaccinate its population with its own anti-Covid-19 products, a model they suggest following to deal with global health emergencies.

In a report published on the site, a city-based specialized in bringing science to development through news and analysis, the authors highlight how this strategy of vaccination with safe and effective immunogens could face situations of this type in environments with resource-poor, low-income countries, and in the developing world.

At the same time, they demand the reduction of the barriers that block global access to biotechnological innovations from that country.

Last June, the team of US researchers, together with colleagues from Africa and the Caribbean, made an official visit to Cuba, the first high-level visit in five years, to exchange with colleagues from the island on the production of vaccines against covid-19 from the country.

The delegation was led by co-chair Michael Osterholm, PhD, MPH, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.

Along with the scientist came Cristina Rabadán-Diehl, PharmD, PhD, MPH, who for 25 years led international work at the National Institutes of Health and the US Department of Health and Human Services, before becoming Director Westat Clinical Trials Associate.

For Osterholm, what he learned about Cuba’s extraordinary work with the covid-19 vaccine made it clear that it can be an important actor in increasing global access to life-saving advances.

He considered that although the policies are complex, “they must face the barriers that prevent their impressive group of scientists and public health experts from doing it.”

The report further explains that the purpose of the fact-finding mission was threefold: first, to learn how and why a small country of some 11 million people, and facing considerable economic hardship, had developed, manufactured, and deployed its own vaccines, It was shown to be more than 95% effective in preventing disease, severity, and death.

Second, understand the launch of the vaccine in Cuba, strategy and preliminary results and third, explore Cuba’s approach to science in the context of public health.

The vaccine development effort and the immunization model could reveal opportunities to reduce global inequalities in access to vaccines and other health innovations, the scientists insist in their study.

They also highlight that the delegation was aware of predictions that the world is dangerously close to the next pandemic, with cross-zoonotic infections, which already account for 75% of emerging infectious diseases, on the rise amid climate change.

They were also alarmed by the unequal access to vaccines that has prolonged the pandemic so far, and how it highlights a broader failure in the current surge in biomedical innovation to reach billions of people in low- and low-middle-income countries.

The visit to Havana was organized by Medicc (Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba), a US-based non-profit organization that promotes health-related dialogue and collaboration.

Since 1997, Medicc has facilitated exchanges between Cuban and US health professionals, academics, policymakers, foundations, students, and leaders of medically underserved communities.

(With information from PL)

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