Havana, Nov 22.- Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic, led the meeting of experts and scientists on Health issues at the Palace of the Revolution, which in this The theme of the occasion was “Updating the Pneumococcus Vaccine Project”.
When speaking at the meeting, which addressed the results of the Quimi-Vio vaccine candidate, the president stated that they are the prelude to another hard scientific result from Cuba, according to the Presidency website.
The central intervention on the Project was given by Doctor in Pharmaceutical Sciences Dagmar García Rivera, Director of Research at the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV), who reported on the status of the development of the vaccine candidate Quimi-Vio, a conjugate vaccine against The pneumococcus that has been in development by the IFV for more than fifteen years.
Dagmar García highlighted that the purpose is to introduce it, at some point, in the national vaccination scheme to protect Cuban children from important childhood diseases in Cuba, mainly in children under five years of age.
During the intervention between experts and scientists, two clinical trials that occurred in the months of September and October were updated; two community clinical trials, phase three, that have involved a large number of children.
The first was carried out in the province of Cienfuegos, began on September 5, and vaccinated 11,600 children, more than 90 percent (%) of all children between one and five years old.
Now Cienfuegos is in the second phase of the study, consisting of children between one and two years old who have received two doses, are receiving the second.
Children over two years old receive only one dose of vaccine, the scientist clarified; who also reported that in the capital, a community trial was carried out during the month of October in which, in all municipalities, children between two and eighteen years of age, who suffer from chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, diseases, were vaccinated. oncological, immunodeficiencies, since they are the most susceptible to diseases caused by pneumococcus.
Therefore, the Doctor of Sciences explained, this is a study that aims to evaluate over time how vaccination protects healthy children (those vaccinated in Cienfuegos), and children with risk diseases (vaccinated in Havana), of suffering from pneumococcal diseases.
Regarding the impact that the future vaccine (still a vaccine candidate) could have on the Health system, and particularly on children, Dagmar said that in the province of Cienfuegos, in 2018 and 2019, a community clinical trial was carried out, in which that 93 percent of all children between one and five years of age were vaccinated.
And one year after having vaccinated them, a sixty-three percent reduction in hospitalization rates due to respiratory illness was observed; and a seventy-three percent reduction in invasive pneumococcal disease, due to the serotypes that are contained in the vaccine. This demonstrates the positive impact of the vaccine candidate.
It is a research that continues, stated the specialist, and also explained that it is a very complex vaccine, which, when introduced in countries that have already used it, has caused childhood health indicators to improve significantly in terms of morbidity from respiratory diseases, and infant mortality from respiratory infections and meningitis.
Regarding the Vaccine Project, Olga Lidia Jacobo Casanueva, director of the Center for State Control of Medicines, Equipment and Medical Devices (CECMED), assessed during the meeting that this is an example of vaccine development in the country. It has been a project that since it began in 2012 has had regulatory support.
We have reviewed each of the phases of all the clinical trials that Dr. Dagmar has presented; It has been a project that has been followed very closely. The work, said the expert, “has been praised even in events in which we have had the opportunity to be.”
“Today what we can say is that the Project is ready to obtain its health registration,” she announced.
The IFV must present all the information to CEDMED, which already has elements that support the safety and effectiveness of this vaccine. We are ready to evaluate this dossier, carry out the corresponding inspection, and have the vaccine in the shortest possible time, so that it can be used throughout the country, she declared. (Text and photo: ACN)