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Cuban scientists granted Hero of the Republic title

HAVANA, Cuba, Oct 13 (ACN) Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) and President of the Republic, today awarded the honorary title of "Hero of Labor of the Republic of Cuba" to 10 eminent Cuban scientists.

Gerardo Enrique Guillén Nieto, Eulogio Pimentel Vázquez, Marta Ayala Ávila, Vicente Guillermo Vérez Bencomo, Yury Valdés Balbín, Dagmar García Rivera, Belinda Sánchez Ramírez, Tammy Boggiano Ayo, Eduardo Ojito Magaz and Lorenzo Jorge Pérez Ávila were distinguished, in this capital, for their valuable contributions to Cuban science and especially for the work to produce the anti-COVID-19 vaccines.

From the hands of Manuel Marrero Cruz, Prime Minister of the Republic, Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, national coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, and Aylín Álvarez García, first secretary of the Communist Youth Union, 47 Cuban researchers also received the first degree Lazaro Peña Order for their outstanding participation in the confrontation of COVID-19 and the production of vaccine candidates, three of them patented as vaccines.

Doctor in Sciences Marta Ayala Ávila, general director of the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), pointed out to the press that those who received the distinction belong to a great team that in these months of pandemic turned the interferons and the Jusvinza peptide into part of the fight against SARS-CoV-2.

They worked in a very united manner to achieve the vaccine candidates, shortening the times, rigorously fulfilling each step and banishing administrative barriers, which is why I consider the CIGB collective to be heroic.

For his part, Yury Valdés Balbín, deputy director of the Finlay Vaccine Institute, also acknowledged that this honorary title is received on behalf of many young and experienced researchers who joined the call of the homeland to bring health to our people, which makes us happier.

For Dr. Belinda Sánchez Ramírez, director of Tumor Immunology at the Center for Molecular Immunology, this is the work of Fidel, because if Cuba had not had a mature biotechnology like Cuba's in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, it would not have been possible to respond so quickly and have its own vaccines.

At 76 years of age, Lorenzo Jorge Pérez Ávila, researcher and consulting professor at the Pedro Kourí Institute of Tropical Medicine, said he was satisfied and proud to receive the distinction that encourages him to continue working for the Revolution and the people, after more than 50 years dedicated to medicine and the fight against infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, dengue, zika, cholera and Ebola.

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