On August 19, 2020, the director of the National Vaccine Research Institute announced the first specific vaccine candidate for COVID-19 developed in Cuba.

While being a developing country, Cuba has world-renowned medical technology and has developed pharmaceuticals using the latest biotechnology. Since March of this year, hundreds of doctors have been sent all over the world to save lives of people infected with coronavirus that have spread worldwide.

And finally, the first long-awaited vaccine candidate “Soberana” was introduced. The study has received basic approval from the regulatory agency Quality Management of Medicines (CEDMED), and involves three institutions as a strategic axis: the Finlay Vaccine Institute, the Center for Molecular Immunology (CIM), and the University of Havana.

Vaccine candidate “Soberana” was shown to have low risk, few uncertainty, and high immune response in experiments on mice and rabbits. Vaccine candidates are based on technology and production platforms that already exist in the country, and of the effective vaccines developed in Cuba that have been demonstrated and used for many years according to scientific project authorities and leaders.

Soberana is the 30th vaccine candidate to receive clinical trial authorization in the world, in a career spanning more than 200 projects in various countries. It will enter the clinical trials phase as of Monday, August 24, that is, human beings: 20 of at least one age group from 19 to 59 years old. A week later, the test will be applied to an equal number of volunteers between 60 and 80 years old. The second phase of these clinical trials is scheduled for September 11, when all 676 volunteers will be completed, including the 40 from the first phase. Results will be announced in February next year.