Cuba develops vaccine to combat COVID-19

Dr Gerardo Guillen

HAVANA – The director of research at the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology here, Dr Gerardo Guillen, says a clinical trial is now being held for a vaccine aimed at activating the immune system to combat COVID-19.

Speaking during a recent television interview, Guillen said that the drug, called CIGB 2020, is undergoing trials at the Luis Diaz hospital in Havana with volunteer patients suspected of being carriers of the disease.

He says the drug is nasally and sublingually administered to strengthen these areas and encouraging results have already been observed regarding the activation of the innate immune system, which is very important to successfully combat this disease.

He added that CIGB 2020 is a drug that is inserted, along with another Cuban vaccine developed by Finlay Institute, in a field of research that has been much debated in contemporary science, which is the development of specific vaccines to stimulate innate immunity, which is powered by the new coronavirus.

“Our researchers have been able to make lab technologies available to this research in record time and after these first results we will continue with the trials and analyse the results,” Guillen said.

Meanwhile, up to Tuesday, there were 766 positive COVID-19 cases across the island.

According to the Ministry of Public Health, 599 out of those 766 patients are in stable condition.