The communist island nation of 11.2 million aims to vaccinate all children before reopening schools that have mostly closed since March 2020. The new school year began on Monday, but from home via TV shows, as most Cuban families do not have access to Internet.
Cuba, which has completed its clinical trials of the Abdul and Subran vaccines on minors, began vaccinating children on Friday, September 3, starting with children 12 years of age and older. On Monday, it began administering vaccines to the age group of two to 11 years in the central province of Cienfuegos.
Young children are already vaccinated in many countries
Children from the age of 12 are also vaccinated by many other countries around the world, and some countries are conducting tests on younger children. Several countries, such as China, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela, have announced plans to vaccinate young children, but Cuba is the first to do so. Chile approved Chinese vaccines from Sinovac for children aged six to 12 years old on Monday.
Cuban vacancies are not officially endorsed by anyone
Cuban vaccines, which were first developed in Latin America, have not been subject to international peer review. It is based on recombinant protein technology – the same thing used in vaccines from the US company Novavax and the French company Sanofi, which is also waiting for approval by the World Health Organization. Unlike other vaccines used, recombinant vaccines do not require extreme refrigeration.
Most schools in Cuba have been closed since March 2020 – they reopened for a few weeks at the end of last year, then closed again in January. The government announced the gradual reopening of schools, in October and November, but only after all children were vaccinated.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has called on schools around the world to reopen their doors as soon as possible, “because the cost of a prolonged closure is too high and hard to justify”. Cuba has seen an explosion of coronavirus infections in recent weeks, which has strained its health system. Nearly half of the 5,700 coronavirus deaths reported since the outbreak of the pandemic, as well as nearly a third of all reported cases, have been reported in the past month.
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