Cuba develops world’s first conjugate Covid-19 vaccine

Cuba has developed world’s first conjugate Covid-19 vaccine Soberana 2 (Sovereign 2).

Highlights

  • When the Soberana 2 vaccine is delivered with booster shot of Soberana Plus, it is 91 percent effective against symptomatic Covid-19 cases.
  • If this vaccine is approved, Cuba will become first Latin American country to manufacture and produce vaccine against Covid-19.

How Soberana 2 is administered?

Soberana 2 vaccine is administered in three dose regimens. It comprises of two shots of Soberana 2 and one shot of Soberana Plus. It is administered in 0-28-56-day regimen.

Who developed the vaccine?

Soberana 2 is one of the three vaccines in Soberana series. It was developed by Finlay Institute in collaboration with Centre for Molecular Immunology and National Biopreparations Centre. Four other vaccines are also being developed in Cuba.

How vaccine was developed?

All the five vaccines in Cuba, are protein vaccines. These vaccines were developed using the protein derived from SARS-CoV-2 virus. This virus binds to human cells and trigger an immune response. Soberana 2 is unique among Cuban vaccines as it only kind of “conjugate vaccine” combining receptor-binding domain of virus with deactivated form of tetanus.

Vaccine Production in Cuba

Cuba produces 60-70 percent of medicines which are consumed domestically and vaccinates against 13 diseases with 11 vaccines. 8 of the vaccines are produced in Cuba itself.

What is a conjugate vaccine?

The type of vaccine combining weak antigen with strong antigen as a carrier so that an immune system strongly response to a weak antigen, is called as conjugate vaccine. Such vaccines are used to prevent diseases by building an immune response to antigen (foreign part of virus or bacteria) recognised by immune system.

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