Havana, March 4 (ACN) Research studies by the Havana-based Hematology and Immunology Institute revealed that COVID-19 convalescents who were either asymptomatic or mild symptomatic may develop less immunity and be reinfected.
The head of the National Immunology Team with the Cuban Health Ministry, Consuelo Macias, told ACN that convalescents are vulnerable to COVID reinfection and to other diseases, that’s why it is important to give them medical follow up after they recover from the pandemic.
At present, experts are treating lung damage with stem cells from the same individuals and submitting the Cuban COVID-19 candidate vaccine SOBERANA 01 to clinical trials, as well as the study of the immune response after infection and the assessment of psychological impacts; they are also researching on the application of hyper-immune plasma on infected patients.
The hyper-immune plasma experiment included 62 patients during a non-controlled, non-randomized clinical monitoring, which prevented the patients form advancing to serious inflammatory stages.
The stem cell trials included 49 convalescent patients who underwent critical and serious conditions during the disease, out of which 27 showed lung damage a complication frequent in persons who recovered from COVID 19.
This study applied steroids and stem cells with about 360 million cells. In both cases there was improvement as to the lung damage, but the stem cell experiment was more successful as it did not report adverse reactions, while the anti-inflammatory response keeps active during six months in most patients. This will be applied to a larger number of convalescents.
The study research revealed that patients showing less symptoms are less protected which suggested their immunization with the SOBERANA 01 vaccine, as part of the strategy followed by the Havana-based Finlay Vaccine Institute.
The expert said that research will continue to assess the situation of convalescents after one year or one and a half year after their recovery, as part the protocol of the Cuban Heath Ministry.