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Cuba will start COVID-19 vaccine trials in children in February

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 30 (ACN) Conditions are created to try to start the trial with the vaccine candidates Soberana 01 and Soberana 02 in children and teenagers by the end of February, informed Doctor of Science Vicente Vérez Bencomo, general director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV).

The executive specified that this study against COVID-19 will cover ages between five and 19 years old, with a view to guaranteeing the safety of children at school, which would give greater peace of mind to parents and make it possible for them to attend classes.

We do not think it is necessary to go below that range, because the cases of infants infected with the disease are generally due to a certain level of carelessness, he added during a virtual meeting with the Pan American Health Organization on Friday.

He pointed out that another aspect to take into account is that the 0 to 5 years of age is the most vaccinated age group throughout life and constitutes a very high vaccination intensity.

However, he indicated that this possibility could be analyzed in the future, perhaps when the pandemic is over, he stressed.

He added that in the case of Soberana 02, in its phase II-B, 485 people have already been vaccinated with very good safety levels, so once this period is over, there will be a higher guarantee for the pediatric scenario.
Vérez Bencomo emphasized that the Institute has a vast experience of clinical trials in pediatric ages, since previously all its vaccines were intended for that population.

Regarding the application of the vaccine candidates in older adults, he commented that so far they do not plan to vaccinate those over 80 years of age, because this age group, although it is the most at risk, has a fragile immune system and, therefore, will respond more weakly to the drug.

He added that as research progresses, rigorous evaluations will be carried out in this regard, and mentioned that other countries are considering the possibility of protecting this population indirectly when they manage to reduce the circulation of the virus.

The IFV was created in 1991 with the aim of expanding the achievements of a group of Cuban scientists who researched, produced and presented the VA-MENGOC-BC® vaccine, whose introduction in Cuba had a great impact by eliminating the epidemic that mainly affected children and adolescents.

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