In a World First, Cuba To Give Covid Jabs To Anyone Over 2
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Cuba became the first country in the world to vaccinate children from the age of two against Covid-19, using home-grown jabs not recognised by the WHO. The communist island of 11.2 million people aims to inoculate all its children before reopening schools that have been closed for the most part since March 2020.

The new school year started, but from home via TV programmes, as most Cuban homes do not have internet access. The government has announced schools will reopen gradually, in October and November, but only after all children have been vaccinated. Having completed trials on minors with its Abdala and Soberana vaccines, Cuba kicked off its inoculation campaign for children on Friday, starting with those 12 and older.

On Monday, it started distributing jabs in the 2-11 age group in the central province of Cienfuegos. Several other countries in the world are vaccinating children from the age of 12, and some are conducting trials in younger kids. Countries such as China, the UAE and Venezuela have announced they plan to vaccinate younger children, but Cuba is the first to do so. Chile on Monday approved the Sinovac vaccines for kids between six and 12.

The Cuban vaccines, the first developed in Latin America, have not undergone international, scientific peer review. They are based on recombinant protein technology — the same used by the United States’ Novavax and France’s Sanofi vaccines also awaiting WHO approval.