Cuba to begin vaccinating 2-year-olds

Cuba to begin vaccinating 2-year-olds
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Cuba announced on Monday that it has begun administering its own COVID-19 vaccines to children as young as 2 years old.

The announcement was made through Cuba's state-run media, according to Voice of America. Cuba will be administering a vaccine that was developed domestically and has not been recognized by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Cuba is aiming to vaccinate at least 90 percent of its population, with half of the country receiving at least one shot so far and a third being fully vaccinated.

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The Communist country has developed two vaccines, Soberana-2 and Abdala. Both were approved by local regulators, VOA reported, but the shots have not been peer-reviewed.

Children between the ages of 2 and 18 will receive Soberana-2, while adults will receive Abdala. Cuba is believed to be the first country to begin vaccinating children this young.

VOA noted that the Cuban government is anxious to get children back into classrooms, as most Cuban homes lack internet access. Schools have been closed since March of 2020, and most children have been learning through television programs.

UNICEF released a report last year stating that children in Latin America had seen their educations be the most impacted by the pandemic. At the time, it was estimated that Latin American children had lost four times as many school days as other children around the world.

According to the WHO, Cuba has confirmed more than 745,000 COVID-19 cases and nearly 6,300 related deaths. The country has administered more than 15 million COVID-19 vaccine doses so far.