The official announcement was made on Monday by BioCubaFarma, a state-run biopharmaceutical corporation which manages the Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology, who are the producers of Abdala, as well as Finlay, the manufacturers of Soberana 02.
“Hit by the pandemic, our scientists at the Finlay Institute and Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology have risen above all the obstacles and given us two very effective vaccines,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel posted on Twitter.
This comes a few days after Cuba announced that another vaccine, Soberana 2, is 62 per cent effective with just two of its three doses.
“In a few weeks, we should have the results for the efficacy with three doses which we expect will be superior,” Vicente Vérez, director of the state-run Finlay Vaccine Institute which developed Soberana 02 said on Sunday.
Last month, officials disclosed that the Beta variant which was first identified in South Africa, had become dominant in the country, showing what they described as the greatest degree of immune escape or lack of response across vaccines.
From the word go, the Caribbean Island made a decision not to import foreign vaccines but to rely on its own, a move many experts saw as a risky bet.
“We know our government has not been able to provide this project all the funding it required, and, nonetheless, this is a result of global standing,” President Miguel Diaz-Canel said on Saturday.
The vaccines will both have to seek approval from the World Health Organisation so as to be exported and used outside Cuba, though reports indicate they are already in use in the country.
Cuba has five coronavirus vaccine candidates, namely Soberana 01, Soberana Plus, Mambisa, Soberana 02 and Abdala.
So far, Argentina, Jamaica, Mexico, Vietnam and Venezuela have expressed an interest in Abdala vaccine while Iran embarked on producing Soberana 02 earlier this year.