The Venezuelan Academy of Medicine expresses concern about the use of the Cuban vaccine

CARACAS (Reuters) – The Venezuelan National Academy of Medicine expressed concern on Monday about the use of Abdullah’s Cuban vaccine, claiming it is a product whose safety and efficacy are not known scientific information.

Over the weekend, a new batch of the Cuban vaccine arrived in the country, the amount of which was not specified by the authorities, and was added to the first batch of 30,000 doses in June as part of a trial.

Most of the vaccines used in the member country of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are the Russian Sputnik V, and Sinopharma manufactured in China. More recently also Sinovac, which arrived through the COVAX mechanism.

“The properties of the Sputnik V vaccine have been published in scientific journals and its quality has been verified in independent clinical trials (…) Sinopharm’s vaccine has been approved by the World Health Organization (WHO),” said the Academy, a scientific institution advising the Venezuelan state.

But the academy said that “Al-Abdullah has not been approved by the World Health Organization or by any international regulatory agency,” adding that it was concerned that “a product for which there is no scientific information on its safety, and there are no known scientific publications (… ) on the Venezuelans, with all the consequences that may ensue.”

Cuban scientists have developed three indigenous vaccines against COVID-19, all of which are awaiting official recognition after an evaluation by the World Health Organization, according to the island’s authorities.

President Nicolas Maduro’s government has said that about 40% of the population, about 28 million people, have been vaccinated and expects that by October the proportion will reach 70%. But experts have questioned this figure since the beginning of the epidemic, and authorities have not provided concrete data on the national vaccination plan, which has been slow.

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Venezuela has reported a total of 363,300 infections and 4,412 deaths as of Sunday, according to authorities.

The Ministry of Communication did not respond to a request for comment. (Reporting by Vivian Sequera. Editing by Maya Armas and Javier Lira)

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