Washington, Feb 18.- The New York Times newspaper highlighted today as an extraordinary scientific achievement of Cuba, the beginning in March on the island of the final phase of testing of Sovereign 02, a vaccine against Covid-19.
The newspaper notes that this happens despite the economic difficulties that the Caribbean nation faces due to decades of hostility by the United States, alluding to the economic, commercial and financial blockade imposed by Washington for almost six decades.
The Times refers to the government's plans for when the process required by the regulatory authorities is completed, because if the tests are successful, they could put the island on the path of inoculating its entire population and starting exports abroad by the end of the year.
According to the publication, if the drug proves safe and effective, the Cuban government would gain an important political victory and an opportunity to improve the economic situation of a country that for decades promoted its sophisticated health system as proof of the benefits of Socialism.
The vaccine that is heading for a final phase of testing is called Sovereign 02, in a nod to the pride the island feels for its autonomy, the document states.
The New York Times quotes the opinion of Richard Feinberg, an expert at the University of California, on the San Diego campus, who believes that this is not just about medicine and humanitarianism; There is a great economic benefit if they manage to control the virus, and it will not only be an immediate income, but a boost to the reputation of the island's pharmaceutical biotech sector.
Cuban scientists say the government will likely donate some doses to poor countries, in keeping with its long practice of strengthening international relations by donating medicines and sending doctors to deal with public health crises abroad.
The text, signed by Ed Augustin and Natalie Kitroeff, recalls that the Antillean nation began investing money in biotechnology in the 1980s, as part of then-President Fidel Castro's push to make the nation self-sufficient in the face of the US blockade. that made it difficult to obtain medicines from other countries.
It also points to the development of the island's biotechnology sector, which manufactures eight of the 12 inoculations that are administered to children on the island and exports to more than 30 countries.
Cuban scientists developed innovative treatments, such as a vaccine against lung cancer tumors, in testing at the Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center in New York, recalls the Times. (Text and photo: PL)