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BMJ 2021; 372 doi: (Published 25 February 2021) Cite this as: BMJ 2021;372:n536

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Cuba begins large-scale production of Abdala, one of its four vaccines against COVID-19

Dear Editor

Cuba began industrial production of the vaccine candidate against COVID-19, Abdala, to ensure the doses required in the third phase of clinical trials. Developed by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), Abdala has demonstrated safety and immunogenicity against coronavirus in the second phase of clinical studies. From their point of view, executives of the Cuban biopharmaceutical industry explained that their plants have enough capacity to produce more than 100,000 vials per day of the vaccine candidate, at a rate of 12,000 doses per hour.

Last weekend authorities from the BioCubaFarma business group and the Finlay Vaccine Institute (IFV) confirmed the large-scale production of Soberana 02, at the National Center for Biopreparations (Biocen). The third phase of clinical trials with this formulation developed by the Finlay Institute begins in March (this month) in Cuba. This vaccine candidate has shown a "high degree of safety and reliability" in previous trials.

Cuba intends to immunize its entire population this year, so it is advancing in the development of four vaccine candidates in unison. In addition to Soberana 02 and Abdala, the island's scientists continue studies of the candidates Soberana 01 and Mambisa.

Competing interests: No competing interests

05 March 2021
Elena Batista Ortega
Dr Adriana Albert Montero, Dr Ramon F. Duarte Chaviano, Dr Mercedes Maria Lopez Rodriguez, Dr Rodolfo leandro Rodriguez Gomez, lic Olga Lidia Zerquera Calderon, Lic Ana ivis Muñoz Alcuria, Lic Maydelin Chaviano Ruiz, Lic Yamer Cintra Rodriguez, Lic Dania Diaz Gutierrez, Lic Clara Elena Mendoza
Francisco Javier Zerquera 15. Trinidad. Cuba.