Abdala vaccine candidate

Very early in the morning, Dr. Yurisel Miguel Cruz arrived at the vaccination site of the Guillermo Tejas Polyclinic in this city. He was wearing his long-sleeved white coat which, sometime later, he had to take off to put his shoulder for Cuba.

Dr. Yurisel Miguel Cruz at the vaccination site of the Guillermo Tejas PolyclinicLas Tunas, Cuba.- He was seen finalizing the details in fulfillment of his duties as director of that health care center; meanwhile, outside the premises, the hope and rejoicing of several workers were growing.

This May 10, the vaccination candidate Abdala brought light to those who, from the health sector in this province, have given their breast to COVID-19. And there, in his daily trench, Miguel Cruz felt proud of Cuban science, and the immense joy of being a doctor and son of this land.

With all that confidence, he addressed part of his group, gathered at the site, to explain how this health intervention would take place, and also convey optimism. He received the first prick at the Guillermo Tejas Polyclinic, demonstrating his confidence in "Abdala."

"Our sector is exposed to a lot of risks and that is why the process started for this population group. I am proud to be the first to be vaccinated because of all that immunization represents for the future of our country, the health of the population, and the possibility of reactivating the economy and resuming daily life will depend on it", affirms the doctor.

Several days ago, he explains, everything was ready to host the study and so far, it is flowing according to the foreseen protocols. At the entrance of the 24 clinical sites in the province, there is a nurse who measures the vital signs and explains the procedure. In a second moment, the worker goes to the medical consultation where they evaluate if all the inclusion criteria are met; and then they are included in the database.

Dr. Jorge LuisOnce at the vaccination point, he/she receives the dose and, finally, must remain under observation for an hour in case of any adverse reaction. For the execution of the process, there are experienced professionals and intensivists, who participate in the initial interview and then in the monitoring, besides several graduates in Nursing.


Since the beginning of the pandemic, in March 2020, Dr. Jorge Luis Parra Espinosa, a specialist in General Comprehensive Medicine, has battled against SARS-CoV-2 in different isolation centers. He knows well the face of this virus that causes not only physical but also psychological damage. For this reason, he did not hesitate to put his arm out and, while waiting in the surveillance room, he expressed how much this vaccine candidate means to him.

"For me, it is confidence, security, sacrifice... It is the effort of our scientists and the people and also a hope for our country and many parts of the world."

Close behind is also Adelmis Martínez Pérez, a graduate in Nursing, who expresses her confidence in this vaccine candidate, produced by the Center for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (CIGB), together with AICA Laboratories in Havana. "I belong to the risk groups and I have been linked to the centers authorized for the isolation of patients who are contacts and suspects of COVID-19, so from now on I will feel more protected," she assures.

enfermera Isabel AbdalaFor the nurse Isabel María Echemendía Torres, "Abdala is a dream come true because our workers will be more protected, the same ones who have not hesitated for a moment to fight against the new coronavirus in the different scenarios."

After several months of waiting, the inhabitants of Las Tunas already feel the achievements of Cuban biotechnology and see rays of light at the end of the tunnel; the one they have been walking through for more than a year when the pandemic came to disrupt everyone's lives.

Now, more than 25 thousand health workers, including students and professors of the University of Medical Sciences, will be able to receive the "miracle," an outcome of the effort of our scientists. Those who support the work to fight COVID-19, such as transporters and personnel who are in risk areas and belong to other spheres, will also receive it.

There are exclusion criteria, such as being decompensated from some chronic disease at the time of application or being allergic to thimerosal, one of the components of "Abdala." Pregnant women, puerperal women, or people who have suffered from COVID-19 will not be immunized either; the Soberana Plus vaccine candidate will be administered to the latter.

Those who live in this part of Cuba only have words of gratitude and full confidence in "Abdala" and, above all, they are looking forward to the vaccination of the rest of the population, scheduled for the second half of this year; meanwhile, the commitment is to comply with biosecurity measures and even maintain them after immunization.