Cuba became the world’s first country to vaccinate children as young as two years old against Covid-19, using home-grown vaccines that have yet to be approved by the World Health Organization.
The communist island of 11.2 million people plans to immunise all of its youngsters before reopening schools, which have been mostly closed since March 2020.
Several other countries across the world are vaccinating children as young as 12 years old, and several are doing trials on younger children. China, the United Arab Emirates, and Venezuela have all announced plans to vaccinate young infants, but Cuba is the first to do so.
Concerning the Cuban Vaccine:
The Cuban vaccinations, the first in Latin America, have not been subjected to international scientific peer assessment. They are based on recombinant protein technology, which is also employed in the United States’ Novavax and France’s Sanofi vaccines, both of which are pending WHO approval.
After completing clinical testing on minors with its Abdala and Soberana vaccines, Cuba began its immunisation programme for youngsters on Friday, beginning with those aged 12 and up. It began providing vaccines to children aged 2 to 11 in the central province of Cienfuegos on Monday.
Unlike many other vaccines now in use, recombinant vaccines do not require freezing.
In recent months, there has been an increase in coronavirus infections in Cuba, putting strain on the country’s healthcare system.
Nearly half of the 5,700 coronavirus deaths recorded since the outbreak began occurred in the last month alone, as did nearly a third of all reported cases.
Closures of schools in Cuba:
Since March 2020, the majority of schools in Cuba have been shuttered, resuming for a few weeks at the end of last year before closing again in January. UNICEF has called on schools around the world to reopen as soon as possible because “the long-term costs of closures are too costly and difficult to justify.”
Schools will reopen gradually in October and November, according to the administration, but only when all children have been vaccinated.