Cuba prepares a preventive vaccine against cholera that it will start using in 2015 and make available to the World Health Organization.
The vaccine is still in clinical trials and is a “highly innovative, very safe and very effective” product according to Gustavo Sierra, vice president of state-owned BioCubaFarma.
In August 2012 cholera reappeared in Cuba, eradicated from the island since the Spanish colonial era, leaving three dead and over four hundred affected, officials said. Another outbreak was detected in the summer of 2013 with fifty confirmed cases.
“Although in Cuba the level of medical attention keeps the life of those infected virtually out of danger, this is a condition capable of killing,” said Sierra.
BioCubaFarma has also conducted clinical trials of a vaccine against seven types of pneumococci in children between one and five years of age that can be vaccinated starting next year.
The drug company is also working on a future therapeutic hepatitis B vaccine that researchers say will be an improvement over existing antiviral products. Likewise it will improve the quality of life of patients while preventing cirrhosis or death.
Biotechnology is one of the priority sectors under the economic reforms being implemented by the government of Raul Castro. Exports of Cuban medicines are estimated at $900 million annually.(HavanaTimes)