MIAMI, United States. — Cuban authorities admitted delays in the process to endorse their anti-COVID-19 vaccine candidates before the World Health Organization (WHO), reported today the AFP agency.
At a press conference held in Havana, Eduardo Martínez Díaz, director of the state-owned BioCubaFarma, pointed out that production was transferred to a new manufacturing plant, which must be prequalified by that international organization.
“The small delay that we have had in our strategy of presenting it to the WHO has been due to an internal element of ours, that we have decided to move to a new (production) plant and that this be the one that undergoes a process” of prequalification, the official said.
According to the manager, last March BioCubaFarma informed the WHO about the change in the place of production of the vaccine candidates. The new complex, inaugurated in December and still “in the process of adjustment and commissioning,” was built in Mariel, a town located 50 kilometers west of Havana.
Martínez Díaz indicated that the change of manufacturing plant “involves a delay in the documentation” and that this has made the process “slower”.
To date, Cuba has produced more than 80 million doses of its vaccine candidates (Abdala, Sovereign 02, Sovereign Plus). Of these, more than 70 million have already been applied both inside and outside the country.
At the end of last year, Mexico authorized the emergency use of Abdala, developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) and produced by BioCubaFarma.
In addition to Cuba and Mexico, the Abdala vaccine candidate has already been authorized for emergency use in four other countries: Vietnam, Iran, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
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