Cuba to start giving Covid jabs to children as young as two
Cuba uses their homegrown vaccine to innoculate
According to the New York Times, Cuba will start vaccinating children as young as two starting this week, making it the only country to immunize children that young.
At the beginning of September, Cuba's health regulator, the centre for State Control of Medicines and Medical Devices, approved the use of pediatric vaccination. As of last week, Cuba began vaccinating 13 to 17-year olds.
As it stands, Cuba aims to have 90 per cent of its population vaccinated by December, with 56 per cent of the country having already received at least one dose of a Covid vaccine.
Due to the rising threat of the Delta variant, Cuba has been reporting an average of 70 new infections a day for every 100,000 citizens, making it one of the worst-hit places in the west.
Cubans are being vaccinated with the Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus vaccines, which were both developed domestically. The vaccine is allegedly more than 90 per cent effective against Covid.
But the findings have not yet been peer reviewed internationally, with Dr Jarbas Barbosa, assistant director of the Pan American Health Organization, calling on Cuba in June to “publish the data in a transparent way.”
However, Cuban scientists said that they have submitted the papers to various international journals and are waiting for them to be published.
"I’m concerned about the level of regulatory oversight," said Dr Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.
But scientists have also said that the side effects displayed so far by the children are only routine symptoms. Dr José Moya of the Pan American Health Organization said that the vaccines are being given with the highest degree of safety.
“This is not an RNA vaccine, with no history, being administered to children,” said Dr Vicente Vérez, the lead developer of the vaccines.
But their homegrown vaccines are reportedly effective against the Delta variant, reports Reuters. The report says that "only 21,000," or 0.8% of the 2.5 million people inoculated, had fallen ill.
"This is really promising data," said BioCubaFarma head Eduardo Martinez.
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