Mexico approves use of three-dose Cuban COVID-19 vaccine


Mexico’s health safety council announced on Wednesday that it had authorized the emergency use of Cuba’s COVID-19 vaccine.

The council said it had enough evidence to consider the vaccine, known as Abdala, both safe and effective, according to The Associated Press 

Late-stage clinical trials earlier this year found the Abdala shot to be 92.28 percent effective against the virus.

Since then, the shot has been approved for use domestically in Cuba and has been exported to Vietnam and Venezuela, the wire service reported. 

The council’s approval of Abdala in Mexico does not necessarily mean that the Mexican government, which purchases vaccines for the country, will acquire or distribute doses of the shot, according to the AP.

Mexico has authorized the use of 10 vaccines in total, the wire service reported. However, it has not made much use of some that it has approved, such as China’s Sinopharm.

Mexico, where 57 percent of people are fully vaccinated, reported a daily COVID-19 case average of 2,756 new infections last week. While the case rates remain relatively unchanged from averages seen two weeks ago, the virus’s death toll in the country was down by 51 percent, according to The New York Times

Globally, COVID-19 cases are on the rise as health officials and politicians urge people to get vaccinated to protect themselves against the virus amid the spread of the highly contagious omicron variant. 

Early studies have indicated that the omicron variant, though transmitted easily, tends to lead to milder infections that are less likely to cause hospitalization. The United States’ leading infectious diseases expert, Anthony Fauci, said Wednesday that international studies and some initial data from U.S. hospitals also suggest that people who are vaccinated and boosted are less likely to be hospitalized as a result of omicron infections.

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