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Cuba becomes the first country to vaccinate young children for covid-19

Cuba becomes the first country to vaccinate young children for covid-19

A nurse prepares Roxana Montano, 3, to receive her dose of Soberana Plus, a Cuban vaccine against covid-19, on August 24, 2021, at Juan Manuel Marquez Hospital in Havana, as part of the vaccine study in children.

A nurse prepares Roxana Montano, 3, to receive her dose of Soberana Plus, a Cuban vaccine against covid-19, on August 24, 2021, at Juan Manuel Marquez Hospital in Havana, as part of the vaccine study in children.
Photo: Adalberto Roque / AFP (Getty Images)

This week, Cuba began vaccinating children as young as two years against covid-19 and became the first country in the world to vaccinate young children. At least 12 young children have died of covid-19 in Cuba this year, while there were no infant deaths due to the disease in the country in 2020 according to Miami Herald.

Cuba developed its own covid-19 vaccine, a two-shot regimen known as Soberana 2, which has an effect on 91.2% after a booster called Soberana Plus, according to studies in the country that have not yet been peer-reviewed. Cuba developed its own vaccine, a pride for Cubans, due to harsh sanctions still imposed by the United States, an outdated arrears from the First Cold War.

Cuba, which averages about 8,000 new covid-19 cases every day, reported 3,727 new covid-19 cases in children on Monday and Tuesday alone, according to Miami Herald, including 236 infants and 16 newborns.

Getting children vaccinated will be crucial in stopping the global pandemic, mainly because children now make up an increasing proportion of cases. There were at least 243,000 cases of covid-19 in children from September 2 to September 9 in the United States, according to American Academy of Pediatrics, which represents approximately 29% of all cases in the country. Compared to the percentage of cases of children since the start of the pandemic last year, 15%, the virus is clearly making its way through unvaccinated children at an alarming rate.

“After declining in early summer, child cases have increased exponentially with nearly 500,000 cases in the last 2 weeks,” the AAP said according to the University of Minnesota Center for Research and Policy for Infectious Diseases.

The youngest people capable of being vaccinated in most countries are between 12-16 years old, with the United States approving the Pfizer covid-19 vaccine for 12-year-olds back in May. The Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are still only approved for people over the age of 18 in the United States

Major vaccine manufacturers in the US have not yet submitted applications to use their jabs on children, but it is expected autumn or winter. But American infants will not soon be able to be vaccinated against covid-19. Children as young as five are the next generation batch to be approved for FDA covid-19 vaccination.

“If you look at the studies we at (National Institutes of Health) are doing in collaboration with the pharmaceutical companies, there will be enough data to apply for an emergency permit both by Pfizer, a little later by Moderna,” Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN it Tuesday.

“I think they both with Pfizer first will probably have a situation where we can vaccinate children. If the FDA assesses the data adequately, we could do so by the fall, ”Fauci said.

The United States on Wednesday reported 170,109 new covid-19 cases and 2,584 new deaths due to the disease.

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