Havana, Cuba – Dr Gustavo Sierra is a storied name in Cuban medicine, with awards and seats on Cuba’s most powerful committees to prove it. He led the team that created a vaccine for meningococcal meningitis, a horrible infection that inflames the membrane of the brain.
That vaccine forms the basis of Soberana-01, one of five vaccines Cuba has been developing against COVID-19 in a move unmatched in Latin America or, in fairness, by any similarly sized country in the world.
Two of the other vaccine candidates, Soberana-02 and Abdala – are about to be rolled out on a grand scale. María Elena Soto, the director of primary healthcare at Cuba’s Ministry of Health, announced on April 22 that a new trial would see 1.7 million volunteers from Havana immunised.