Cuba regretted on Tuesday that the United States does not admit some vaccines against the new coronavirus as a requirement for entering that country, among which are those developed on the island.
Starting in November, the United States will require travelers to be immunized, but it could restrict access to those people who received immunizers such as the Russian Sputnik V who currently do not have the endorsement of the World Health Organization (WHO).
Eduardo Martínez, director of BioCubaFarma – the state biotechnology organization that developed the vaccines – indicated in a press conference that so far two virtual meetings have been held with WHO specialists to present the results of the Cuban inoculants in order to obtain their endorsement. .
Thousands of Cubans, especially relatives of emigrants who await the opening of airports and the gradual regularization of flights on November 15, will face Washington’s restrictions, since the Caribbean nation only used its own vaccines, known such as Abdala, Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus.
“We are going to recognize all the vaccines that their regulatory entities, the regulatory entities of each country, have recognized,” Cuban Health Minister José Ángel Portal said in statements to The Associated Press.
A few minutes earlier, Portal had participated in a press conference to report on the vaccination process on the island, which hopes to have 90% of its population immunized by November. According to him, to date about 23 million doses have been applied, which is equivalent to 86% of citizens having at least one.
The minister considered it unfair that the United States does not recognize Cuban inoculants. “The result of Cuban vaccines is there, it is in the numbers … how transmission has been decreasing.”
Cuba had a peak of infections between July and September due to the presence of the Delta variant, but the figures began to drop drastically in coincidence with the advance of vaccination, which allowed the quarantines to be made more flexible.
The authorities set November 15 as the date for the reopening of airports and the gradual increase in flight arrivals.
The contagions in Cuba went from 9,000 daily cases in some days of September to about 2,600 this Tuesday. Since the virus was detected in March 2020, the accumulated positive cases exceeded 923,900 of which 7,928 people died.
In the critical months from July to September, some provinces had their health systems on the brink of collapse, without infrastructure to cope with the crisis and with a shortage of medicines. Hotels were enabled as hospitals, the funeral service was increased and international donations were received.
In May, the authorities began the vaccination campaign with the application of up to 300,000 daily doses of Cuban antigens.
Cuba is the only country in Latin America that developed its own vaccines. Both Abdala and the combination of Soberana 02 and Soberana Plus are applied in a three-dose scheme and, according to experts, their effectiveness is greater than 90%.