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Cuba decided to make its own COVID-19 vaccine.Now I need a syringe | International

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Cuba says it has developed five COVID-19 vaccine candidates and vaccinated about 2 million people on 11 million islands, but apparently did not plan a syringe, which is an important part of the vaccine campaign. is.

With the surge in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, a shortage of syringes is imminent as a major challenge for the island. On the island, a severe recession has caused a food crisis and a shortage of medicines and basic necessities. Sanctions during the Trump era have made it difficult for Cuba to buy syringes from major manufacturers that are already overwhelmed by orders from larger, richer countries.

To make matters worse, some Cuban vaccines require three doses. This means that Caribbean countries require more syringes than most countries that use Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna double shots and Janssen single-dose jabs. Cuba aims to vaccinate all of Havana’s 2 million population by September and a total of about 10 million by the end of the year.

Aid organizations in the United States and Europe took action when it became clear that the island could not be managed on its own. They launched a campaign to collect donations to buy syringes and shipped them to the island to reduce the shortage of 25 million syringes.

According to Global Health Partners, a New York-based NGO that leads the savings campaign, the reaction for just over a month was “amazing.” Latin American countries such as Spain, Italy, Argentina and Honduras are also contributing. Cubans living abroad have launched campaigns in cities around the world, and in Miami the caravan, which opposes the US embargo last month, has also collected local donations.

“I’ve been running a medical assistance campaign to help Cuba for over 20 years, and I’ve never seen anything like this,” said Secretary-General Bob Schwartz. He said the organization initially aimed for enough money to buy 3 million syringes, but it’s overwhelming enough to buy 4 million and work on another 2 million. Obtained support and a $ 400,000 donation. He hopes to put them on the ground in Cuba by mid-July. Global Health Partners has a US Department of Commerce license to send medicines to Cuba.

The number of syringes that Cuba has and the number of syringes it needs are unknown, but official state media have published donations that Cuba has received from countries such as France and Argentina.

The island managed to survive the first wave of last year’s coronavirus pandemic, thanks to strict quarantine and public health systems. This has suffered a serious shortage in recent years, but remains stronger than its counterpart in many of its Caribbean neighbors. However, a new wave after Cuba reopened its border with tourism in November put the island near the top of the region’s COVID-19 rankings, calling on the government to start mass vaccination. It was. Health officials began taking shots of Soberana and Abdullah last month, even before they were approved by Cuban drug authorities.

The total number of COVID-19 cases slightly exceeded 12,200 last year and 149,000 so far this year. According to the World Health Organization, Cuba has recorded approximately 162,000 cases and 1,118 deaths since the outbreak of the pandemic. After the island recorded a record 1,537 new cases on Tuesday, the number on Wednesday dropped slightly to 1,403.

Cuban officials have been criticized for not purchasing the vaccine to begin protecting the population sooner while working on the development of their own shots. The socialist regime has opted to focus on homemade solutions that are probably cheaper and can ensure the provision of life-saving shots among the challenges posed by years of US sanctions. Cuba’s long tradition of vaccine production, the strong biotechnology industry, and the critical mass of scientists have set it to succeed in becoming the first country to produce COVID vaccines in Latin America.

The island has five vaccines at various stages of clinical trials, aiming to produce about 100 million vaccines this year for export to Latin American and African countries. It even shows the possibility of providing vaccines to tourists. And to supply the need for booster shots, production can continue over the next few years.

But for now, it needs a syringe for its own people. According to government data, vaccination in Havana reduced infection rates, dropping from a peak of about 800 per day a month ago to about 370. Francisco Duran Garcia, director of epidemiology at Heath, said in a daily update on Wednesday that some of the improvements were due to vaccination efforts.

“We need to keep moving forward as soon as possible so that we can see what effect it has. [the vaccine] With precautions that the public already knows. “

A group in Miami wants a Cuban-American community to help families on the island get vaccinated. Information on how people can donate to the Cuban family’s caravan and unblocking of Cuba, which has attracted dozens of supporters by car and bicycle to various parts of Miami from July last year to the last Sunday of every month. Carlos Lasso, one of the organizers, said of the syringe effort:

“Many people in Miami have families in Cuba, and they are confident that their families want to be protected from COVID-19. Participating in a syringe campaign makes them It’s a great way to help, “Lasso said. The caravan will start at 8:30 am on Sunday, June 20th from Coral Gables’ Ponce de Leon Park.

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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