Massachusetts professor exalts Cuban vaccines and world inequity

Mexico, Dec 23 (Prensa Latina) Professor Tanalis Padilla, a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and author of several books, including A History of Rural Teachers, praised Cuba’s homegrown vaccines and denounced world inequity.

The local newspaper La Jornada published an article by the Mexican-born professor, in which she highlighted Cuba’s efforts in the preparation of its vaccines against Covid-19 and the beginning of the supply of the biological vaccines to Mexico.

Padilla recalled that in late November, the first shipment of Cuba’s Abdala vaccine arrived in Mexico, one of the three vaccines -together with Soberana 2 and Soberana Plus- authorized by the Federal Commission for the Protection against Sanitary Risks (Cofepris).

At first sight, she pointed out, it seems surprising that Cuba, a poor country, blockaded by the United States for six decades and going through an acute economic crisis, appears next to great powers such as the United States, the United Kingdom, and China, in the list of countries that have developed their own vaccines.

She stated that Cuba stands out for its high level of vaccination, with some 86 percent of its population having received all three doses, a level only exceeded at the time by the United Arab Emirates.

Cuba was also the first country to vaccinate children up to two years old massively, a process which reduced the lethality of the pandemic in the country, although Covid-19 does not affect them as seriously as it affects the elderly, young children are indeed a source of transmission.

She recalled that Cuba has been developing medicines and vaccines since the 1980s, both for its own population and for export and donations to other countries, and highlighted the work of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB)and the Finlay Vaccine Institute.

Among Cuba’s reasons for producing its own vaccines is that it did not trust that it could acquire them from the international community due to the US economic, commercial and financial blockade that was intensified during the pandemic, and the bet on its own vaccines paid off, not only for its own population but also for other countries that the United States also insists on punishing.

Cuba has sent its vaccines to Venezuela, Syria, Nicaragua, and Vietnam; Soberana 2 is being produced in Iran. In addition, it signed agreements with other countries to transfer its technology and provide the vaccines at low cost.

In extremely adverse conditions, Cuba continues to surprise the world: with its international medical brigades, with its medical innovations, with the high health rates of its population.

Cuba’s Covid-19 vaccines are another reminder of what can be achieved, if you don’t operate under capitalist logic.

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