The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) in Cuba has developed the first approved …


The Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB) in Cuba has developed the first approved vaccine of the country under the name CIGB-66 or Abdala. It is about a formula of protein subunits, composed by a synhtetic fractions of the S protein from SARS-CoV-2 named RBD. By recognising that this protein should not be present, the body creates T-lymphocytes and antibodies that will remember how to fight the virus that causes covid-19 if we are infected in the future.

The Cuban injection has passed phase I/II and III clinical trials according to its manufacturers. The first phase involved 132 volunteers to assess the safety of the vaccine in healthy patients aged 19-54 years, and a second phase of 760 patients aged 19-80 years, which may include some with comorbidities or chronic diseases.

The third phase of clinical trials involved a total of 48,290 volunteers, according to Cuban government information, among whom the efficacy of the drug the efficacy of the drug was estimated at 2,27% against symptomatic infection, and 100% against more severe disease or death, although the results have not yet been published in any scientific article. The formulation was approved for emergency use in Cuba in July 2021.

In May, in parallel with the development of the last phase of clinical trials, and before getting the authorisation, the Cuban Government initiated the inoculation of the vaccine at a large scale with both Abdala and the other Cuban candidate, Soberana 02, before they were officially authorised. The Cuban Ministry of Health estimates that more than 8 million doses will be distributed during this campaign.

The Cuban vaccine is administered in three doses, each of them separated 14 days from the previous one. The Cigb has also informed that it is preserved between 2 and 8 ºC.