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March Wednesday

COVID-19 vaccine trial volunteer says he did it for the children and the elderly

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Cuba, Feb 17 (ACN) Azan Villalona, 62, did not hesitate to volunteer for the clinical trials of a Covid-19 vaccine candidate known as Abdala, saying that he learned from a friend that they were calling for people with certain health conditions and decided to apply, thinking of his two grandchildren and all other children and old people in Cuba and the world at risk of becoming infected.

For many years he has been a blood donor, so it was not difficult for him to do his bit in the fight against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the cause of the highly transmissible and life-threatening disease. After participating in the first phase, he assured, he did not experience any reaction and on Monday he will enter—fearlessly and proudly, he told ACN—the second phase, fully confident on the Cuban science and health system.

He says he imagines the day when the entire population can be immunized with any or all of the vaccine candidates under study today, and see Cuba offering as usual to help other countries, “since this tiny Island boast no end of heroic deeds.”

Azan, an energy technician at Radio Mambí radio station in Santiago de Cuba, has three children (two boys and a girl) and two grandchildren, to whom he tirelessly stresses the need to comply with hygienic sanitary measures in the midst of the complex epidemiological situation in the province.

Workers, students and health personnel stated their willingness to participate in the clinical trial of this domestic vaccine as part of still another battle of Cuban scientists for life.

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