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Monday, April 19, 2021

Studies continue in Cuba with anti-COVID-19 vaccine Soberana Plus

Havana, Apr. 19 - Studies on vaccine candidate Soverana Plus continue with the aim of strengthening the protection and responsiveness of convalescent COVID-19 patients to a possible reinfection.

This is phase II A of the clinical trials of this proposal from the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), the study of which is being carried out at the Institute of Hematology and Immunology, in this capital.

On the last Saturday, vaccination began with about twenty people of the 450 convalescents included in this stage of the study.

Dr. Arturo Chang, principal investigator of the immunogen, commented to the Cuban News Agency that at the current stage, subjects between the ages of 60 and 80 years were included, who had suffered from COVID-19 without serious adverse effects of the disease.

As detailed, it seeks to demonstrate the safety of the vaccine candidate in that age group that had not been included in the previous cycle.

When the first results of the analyzes are obtained, phase II B will begin, which entails the immunization of another 430 volunteers (convalescent between 19 and 80 years of age), he pointed out.

This drug, together with other formulations, reinforces the immune response of people, which is why it is currently applied to convalescent subjects and as part of the intervention studies with Soberana 02, which also includes within its vaccination scheme a third Soberana Plus dosage.

Dr. Rolando Ochoa, researcher and professor at IFV, explained that in the preliminary results of the previous stage it was shown that the immunogen is safe, no severe adverse events are reported and the people involved had a high immune response.

For her part, Dr. Dagmar García, Director of Investigations at IFV, explained in her account on the social network Facebook the importance of vaccinating convalescents from COVID-19.

“The immune response developed during the viral infection in most of them is poor, and the scenario of circulation of new mutant strains can make them more vulnerable (…) Therefore, as a result of the creativity of Cuban scientists and the responsibility of have vaccines for everyone, the innovative idea of ​​developing SoberanaPlus for the convalescent arises”, he explained.

He assured that so far it is the only candidate specifically raised for those who suffered from COVID-19, with the realization of clinical trials in convalescent patients, in a single-dose scheme.

Cuba has four other anti-COVID-19 vaccine candidates: Soberana 01 and Soberana 02, from the IFV; as well as Abdala and Mambisa, from the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology. (Text and photo: PL)