Cuba Advances to Phase Three Trials for COVID-19 Vaccine

cuba vaccine
FILE - In this Jan. 15, 2021, file photo, Dr. Yomaris Pena, Internal Medicine Physician with Somos Community Care at a COVID-19 extracts the last bit of Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine out of a vial so as not to waste it at a vaccination site at the Corsi Houses in the East Harlem neighborhood of New York. An increasing number of COVID-19 vaccination sites around the U.S. are canceling appointments because of vaccine shortages in a rollout so rife with confusion and unexplained bottlenecks. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File)

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) says work to develop a COVID-19 vaccine in Cuba has advanced to the phase three clinical trial stage.

Speaking during a recent COVID-19 digital briefing, PAHO’s Assistant Director, Dr. Jarbas Barbosa, said Cuban vaccine manufacturers commenced phase three trial activities two weeks ago.

This included pilot vaccinations involving volunteers, and usually precedes World Health Organization (WHO) prequalification for widescale distribution or emergency use.

Dr. Barbosa said the entity is facilitating communication between the manufacturers and the WHO on developments relating to the prequalification arrangements.

He advised that the manufacturers are aware of the criteria they must fulfill to secure WHO prequalification.

“When they finish phase three clinical trial engagements, based on the results they will have about the vaccine’s security and efficacy, they can apply to receive prequalification or emergency use listing,” Dr. Barbosa informed.

He said that, thereafter, the vaccine will be considered for procurement by PAHO’s Revolving Fund on behalf of the WHO’s COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access (COVAX) Facility.

Dr. Barbosa said the phase three trial timeline for the vaccine from Cuba will be guided by the rate of COVID-19 transmission and the extent of testing.

CMC

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