14ymedio, Havana, 13 October 2022 — This Wednesday, almost three months after Belarus agreed to buy the Cuban Soberana Plus vaccine, the first batches of the drug arrived in the European country. According to the Twitter account of the Finlay Institute of Vaccines in Havana, a “regulatory agency” also registered Sovereign 02 for future use.
This July, Belarus became the first country in Europe to approve the use of Cuban vaccines to achieve the immunization of its citizens against COVID-19. According to Cuba’s new ambassador to Minsk, Santiago Pérez, the news was received with enthusiasm by the press, which argued that “Cuban vaccines have proven their effectiveness.”
The authorities of both countries have not given details about the number of vaccines included in the agreement nor about the amount paid by the Belorussian Government.
In the case of Soberana Plus, it is a “booster” vaccine, and on the Island it has been applied after one of the other two national products, Soberana 02 and Abdala, or to patients recovered from the coronavirus.
Given the suspicions raised in the most critical sectors of the country by the purchase of a drug not approved by the World Health Organization, the authorities emphasized that “all vaccines used [in Belarus], regardless of the manufacturer, [have been] registered and authorized for use, and are immunobiological drugs of high efficacy and safety.”
A Cuban delegation at the Business Forum held recently in that country met with the Deputy Minister of Health, Dimitri Cherednichenko, to establish more links on issues of “drug production, professional exchanges and joint scientific research,” according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Cuba.
In July of this year, another delegation of Cuban officials visited Dimitry Vladimírovich, director of the Expertise and Testing Centre of the Belorussian Ministry of Health. During the appointment, Vladimírovich presented Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director of the Finlay Institute, with the certificate that endorsed the use of Sovereign Plus in his country.
On that occasion, the Island officials took the opportunity to negotiate subsequent contracts with the Belorussian Minister of Health, Dmitry Pinevichs, who considered “issues related to cooperation in the field of the circulation of medicines and medical products, in particular the location of Cuban medicines and vaccines in the territory of Belarus, as well as the possibility of exporting Belorussian pharmaceutical products to Cuba.”
On July 26, the day the agreement for the purchase of Sovereign Plus was signed, the president of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, referred to the date in congratulations to Miguel Díaz-Canel, assuring him that the “economic and commercial cooperation” of his Government with the Island was guaranteed.
Like Iran, Venezuela, Nicaragua and Mexico, Belarus is part of the list of Cuban allies who opt for the purchase of the drug against COVID-19. With vaccines, the Island also sends the promise of political and even military support.
Not in vain has the sale of vaccines worldwide been preceded by a propaganda campaign that has included concerts, academic events and diplomatic delegations at medical symposia.
Translated by Regina Anavy
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.