Production capacity for empiric Cuban COVID vaccine available

TEHRAN, Apr. 09 (MNA) – Venezuela has the capacity to produce the experimental Cuban coronavirus vaccine candidate known as Abdala at a Caracas biomedical facility, Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said on Thursday.

The academies of medicine and science as well as health-sector workers have urged the government of President Nicolas Maduro to speed up a stalled vaccination campaign, Reuters reported.

The Venezuelan government, which has received 750,000 vaccines from Russia's Sputnik V and China's Sinopharm, says the country has been unable to buy vaccines because of US sanctions that have frozen assets in offshore accounts.

"Today we have visited this plant to verify that there are sufficient conditions - which there are - for the production of the Abdala vaccine," Rodriguez told state television during a visit to the plant.

She added that Venezuela would participate in the Phase III trials of the vaccine, without providing details on the start date or the number of people to be involved.

Cuba began late-phase trials in March of two of its five experimental shots, Soberana 2 and Abdala, which will be Latin America's first homegrown COVID-19 vaccines.

The trials for Abdala will be completed in July and the first results will be published in August, according to state media.

Venezuela has reported 170,189 infections and 1,705 deaths from COVID-19 since March 2020.

ZZ/PR

News Code 171876

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