Cuba says its vaccine against covid-19 Abdala has an efficacy rate of 92.28%

(CNN) – Cuban scientists announced on Monday night a 92.28% efficacy rate for their three-dose Covid-19 vaccine candidate Abdala, which they see as a vindication of the island’s unconventional strategy of producing its own vaccines. instead of trying to import them.

Despite Abdala and another Cuban vaccine, Soberana-02, have been widely administered on the communist island in expanded trials, the government will need to apply for emergency use approval and begin submitting data to the World Health Organization for its eventual use of the vaccine abroad.

Older people wait to receive the candidate vaccine against covid-19 Abdala in Havana, Cuba. (Photo by YAMIL LAGE / AFP via Getty Images)

On Saturday, Cuban scientists said that the Sovereign-02 vaccine candidate was 62% effective after two injections and that they were still studying its efficacy after a third injection.

At the start of the pandemic, Cuba, which has long produced many of its own drugs, announced that the island would not import vaccines from abroad, saying it could not afford to compete with other countries for the drugs.

Instead, the island focused on developing its own vaccines, which they said could eventually be made in other countries or marketed to visiting tourists as part of “vaccination holidays.”

Cuba was the first country in Latin America to produce two homegrown vaccines that reached stage three of the trials.

Still, the impact of the coronavirus has devastated the island’s economy, and on Monday Cuban health officials announced 1,561 new daily cases, the highest daily increase since the pandemic began.

To date, Cuba has reported a total of 169,365 cases of covid-19 and 1,170 deaths from coronavirus.