Vaccine Watch: Cuba develops its own COVID-19 vaccines

Two of Cuba’s five potential vaccines are now in phase 3 trials, as the island nation hopes to vaccinate all 11 million Cubans by the end of the year.
5:32 | 04/02/21

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Transcript for Vaccine Watch: Cuba develops its own COVID-19 vaccines
Of the remarkable effort by the small island nation of Cuba to produce its own Kobe nineteen vaccine as large and wealthy countries will produce and consume the majority of vaccines around the world. Q is working to develop its own solution for its population with five vaccine candidates now in development are Bob Woodruff has the story in this week's faxing each. Just a hundred miles away from the Florida coast a tiny country once crippled by its dictatorship government. Is now one step closer to distributing its own cove it nineteen vaccines. Apparently would no help from the outside world. In fact. They're developing five vaccines. This is an under and you know science at end joining to the fact that these vaccines are promising. Two of them approved for phase three trials just last month. The vaccine has a good safety profile. Since there have been no Ceres adverse event the vaccines have not completed final testing. But the Cuban government hopes to begin distributing those two vaccines starting in May each requiring two to three doses. Once we have those results will be ready to authorize the mass use of the vaccine in Cuba. Thus we are already at the door of the last phase of these clinical trials Cuba is an isolated island nation unique amongst its neighbors in Latin America. Cuba has a long history of investment. It and it house especially primary health care. I'm it's largely a medical model. Of base station doctors all of the world for many decades now. On and they also have a long history of vaccine development especially for. The childhood vaccines that we all familiar with measles. Pertussis tetanus. It Sasha. While other neighbors in the region are buying Covert nineteen vaccines from countries like Russia China and India. Cuba has decided to call it a long state fair capital equal to his current and it is approved for emergency use or any temporary registration authorization. Then we would consider even massive vaccination process for the population. Would it be abroad intervention. Gary Brockman you're talking about one point seven million people all people between 1980 years old Cuba has been under harsh. Sanctions by the United States for the past sixty years and the country is still an authoritarian state with issues with human rights and free speech. In response to its isolation. It built up its domestic Biotech industry. Given the blockade that we are subjected to in the situation in the country it would have been very difficult for us to get the results we are getting in the fight against the pandemic if he had not developed this industry more than 35 years ago in our country. Cuba is a place that's full paradox in many ways Cuba at the same time that they're making news -- pretty remarkable strides back and it was also in the midst of its worst economic crisis in thirty year. For the most part Cuba has been able to control the spread of cope in nineteen. But today Cuba is going through their worst outbreak yet but an average of over 800 infections is dead longer we couldn't go do. We are getting closer to the moment of carrying out a massive vaccination of the population. This news has arrived at this moment when we are facing the outbreak that has been the hardest wrested control and confront the global to. Spare Eddie and vaccine distribution is stark more than half of the vaccinations around the world. Have been administered in just four countries the United States India China and the UK and two of those countries the US in the UK. Have bought 20% of all the vaccines being sold around the world although China and India not publicly announced how many doses they bought. It is if you look at the global landscape. Only about 3%. Of the global population. Is fully vaccinated and that that poses problems that the virus. Is allowed to proliferate unchecked. We know now that new variants will develop. And that could have consequences for us down that road. For a low income country like Cuba creating an effective vaccine of their own could provide a boost for Cubans both medically. And financially with the Cuban vaccines they don't need to join the long line of countries. Bartering for doses and they may eventually be able to sell their vaccines to others a reef and promote vaccine tourism to their short don't worry. Our country is saving money that could save many millions of dollars given the results that we've achieved health. Officials in Cuba say they're confident and that their results to date have been promising anti Cubans getting the first doses access to any vaccine is of big. We're going I'm a little nervous calm. Proud to be able to receive the vaccine after such a long time or. It definitely isn't the kind that fuels. We are really they'd all be useful. The hope now in Cuba is to vaccinated eight million Cubans by August. And the entire population. Of eleven million by the end of 2021. This is Bob Woodruff. Tracking the backs. Thanks to Bob for net.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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