Cuba Leads Race For Latin American Coronavirus Vaccine

(REUTERS) – As Latin American nations test experimental coronavirus vaccines from across the globe and economic heavyweights such as Brazil and Mexico jockey for supply deals with major drugmakers, Communist-run Cuba already has two of its own vaccines in clinical trials.

Should its efforts succeed, the Caribbean island could become an important supplier to neighboring countries that might otherwise struggle to access vaccine supply as wealthy Western nations rush to secure doses, regional experts said.

“Cuba’s contribution with its vaccine could be very important for certain vulnerable groups in our region” such as the elderly, or remote indigenous communities, Jose Moya, the representative in Cuba for the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), told Reuters.

If a Cuban vaccine proves safe and effective, it would become available for purchase in the region through PAHO, the Americas regional office of the World Health Organization (WHO), Moya said.