Cuban scientists work on design of new vaccine against Covid-19

 Cuban scientists work on design of new vaccine against Covid-19

Por Yosbel Bullaín

Havana, Mar 19 (Prensa Latina) Cuba’s Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology Center (CIGB) has the design of a vaccine that could be administered against the new Sars-CoV-2 coronavirus that causes Covid-19.

In an interview with Prensa Latina, CIBG Biomedical Research Director Gerardo Guillen said that they are working on the methodology and design of the vaccines at present.

The advantage of this vaccine is that it uses the platform developed by the CIGB, where we work on particles that are similar to the virus, which have a great capacity to stimulate the immune system, the Cuban researcher noted.

Another platform is nasal immunization, considering that Cuba has the experience with a registered vaccine.

Guillen added that as Covid-19 is a disease that is transmitted through the nose, among other ways, the said platform has advantages to develop a vaccine against the new coronavirus.

The scientist noted that the project has been proposed to Chinese authorities to make the vaccine in conjunction with the joint research and development center in China, which is in the city of Yongzhou, Hunan province, and has the experience in working with the new virus, in addition to being equipped with high-level contention labs.

Guillen also referred to the high level of mutations of the new coronavirus, which can mutate to increase or decrease its virulence.

He also noted the influence of ethnic groups, as different groups can react differently to the disease and treatments.

Regarding speculations about how heat can reduce the transmission of the infection, Guillen, who is also a member of the Academy of Sciences of Cuba, noted that although some publications say that high temperatures affect the virus, it does not mean that it is eliminated.

For that reason, he noted that people must observe hygiene measures, surveillance and isolation to contain the transmission of Covid-19.

Official statistics show that the disease is present in more than 146 countries and more than 7,800 people have died of it worldwide.

According to data provided on Wednesday by the Ministry of Public Health, Cuba has tested 259 people for Covid-19, and 11 patients have tested positive so far.

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