Cuba Okays Local Jab For Toddlers After COVID-19 Infection

(AFP) — Cuba has given emergency authorisation for its home-grown Soberana Plus vaccine to be administered to children as young as two after a coronavirus infection.

As the communist country this week started administering booster shots, all locally manufactured, the Cecmed medicines agency said Tuesday it had approved a shot of Soberana Plus for all convalescent COVID-19 patients two years and older.

The jab will be given two months or more after recovery.

The decision was based on early results from a clinical trial conducted in convalescent children “which showed that the administration of a single dose is safe” and held “potential benefits” for protection against reinfection.

The same vaccine was approved in September for people 19 and older who had contracted COVID-19.

Cuba started inoculating children from the age of two in September with its Soberana 02 and Abdala shots with the aim of allowing pupils to return to school in November with three vaccine doses.

The island nation has so far fully vaccinated 9.2 million of its 11.2 million inhabitants with three doses, according to the health ministry, and is now rolling out a fourth, booster dose.

Cuba’s coronavirus vaccines are not recognised by the World Health Organization.

Under American sanctions since 1962, Cuba has a long tradition of making its own vaccines, dating back to the 1980s.

Nearly 80 per cent of its inoculations are produced locally.