HAVANA — Cuba will administer experimental Covid-19 shots to nearly the entire population of the capital Havana by May as health authorities carry out massive interventional studies and late stage trials, officials said on Tuesday.
Cuba, which has a long history of developing and exporting vaccines, this month began late phase trials of two of its five experimental shots, Soberana 2 and Abdala, which will be Latin America’s first homegrown COVID-19 vaccines if they prove successful.
Ileana Morales, the health ministry’s director of science and technological innovation, said on a roundtable broadcast on state television that authorities would conduct an intervention study in 1.7 million people in Havana by May.
That comes on top of one it has already started for 150,000 frontline workers in the city, which is estimated to have 2.1 million inhabitants.
Cuba’s capital is at the centre of its worst coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic, registering 292 cases per 100,000 inhabitants compared with a nationwide average of 103.5, Deputy Health Minister Carilda Peña said.