Cuba is the only country in Latin America and the Caribbean developing COVID-19 vaccines. There has been an interest in these vaccines within the Member States of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
In Jamaica, there have been calls for the government to explore the possibilities with Cuba and it was reported recently that Suriname wants to take a Cuban vaccine. There is long-standing cooperation between CARICOM and Cuba and there’s a CARICOM/Cuba trade agreement.
This is a truly commendable achievement for Cuba, a small state, which, among the many, has four (4) vaccines listed by the World Health Organization (WHO) in various stages of development. It has vaccines among the 23 at the advanced phase 3 in the development process. The Cuban vaccine, Soberana 02, is one of two vaccines being developed by the Finlay Vaccines Institute. The others are being developed by the country’s Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology.
Cuba has a population of 11.3 million and its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2020 was estimated at US$91.2 billion with its per capita income at US$6,530. With the impact of COVID-19 and the early restrictions to contain it, the economy contracted by 11 percent in 2020. Since the end of the Cold War and the disintegration of the