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January Friday

High PAHO official highlights work of Cuban scientists to produce COVID-19 vaccines

HAVANA, Cuba, Jan 13 (ACN) Dr. Jarbas Barbosa da Silva, deputy director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), highlighted the work done by Cuba and its scientists to make COVID-19 vaccines fully developed and produced in Latin America.

During the press conference that every Wednesday analyzes the epidemiological situation in the region, Dr. Barbosa remarked that PAHO does not authorize the vaccines, since the World Health Organization is the one responsible for their prequalification based on the evaluation of a team of experts.

PAHO facilitated their inclusion on the list for emergency use, and so far two meetings have been held and reports have been submitted, whereas the details were clarified from Geneva.

He remarked that the vaccine producers are preparing the relevant dossier and that the use of a vaccine is a decision of each country’s regulatory authority.

PAHO director, Dr. Carissa Etienne, said that countries such as Chile, Cuba and Argentina have some of the highest vaccination coverage rates in the world and, thanks to these efforts, almost 60% of people have been vaccinated with two doses.

In the Americas, where the Omicron strain has been detected in at least 42 countries and regions, 6.1 million new COVID-19 cases were reported last week, which means an increase of 250% compared to the same period last year. While Delta is still active, Omicron is likely to become the prevailing variant, as it spreads faster than others, especially indoors, she said.

PAHO also reported that most of the new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in the United States, and are increasing in the eastern provinces of Canada and throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

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