Basseterre, St. Kitts, June 9, 2021 (SKNIS): During the June 8, 2021 edition of “Leadership Matters”, Prime Minister Dr. the Hon. Timothy Harris informed that although the Caribbean nation of Cuba was developing several vaccines none to date has been given approval for use by the World Health Organization (WHO).
Prime Minister Harris said that he had received official communication from the Cuban Embassy in St. Kitts and Nevis, through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, about the status of vaccine development in Cuba.
“One of the things persons in the opposition has thrown up to play the game of obstructionism is to say tell them to give you the Cuban vaccine. We want to make the point that there is no Cuban vaccine that has had the approval of the WHO for use. There is none. So, you should ask yourself why should a doctor who knows better encourage persons to ask for something that in reality is not available to them,” said Prime Minister Harris.
Prime Minister Harris reiterated the point that there is no Cuban vaccine when he read from the communique from the Cuban Embassy.
“Regarding the request for information on the development of Cuban COVID-19 vaccines by the Honourable Prime Minister Dr. Timothy Harris, Cuba has five (5) COVID-19 vaccine candidates still awaiting approval. They are as follows: Mambisa, which is still awaiting approval; Abdala is still awaiting approval; Soberana 01 is still awaiting approval, Soberana 02 is still awaiting approval, and Soberana Plus is also still awaiting approval,” said Prime Minister Harris.
The prime minister chastised any medical professional or citizen who encourages any person to wait for any COVID-19 vaccine that has not gained WHO approval while advising persons to reject such advice by professionals who should know better. To date, the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis is yet to record a single death associated with the COVID-19 virus. The country’s vaccination programme has been ramped up in an effort to reach the 70 percent herd immunity threshold.
He quoted the Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) Dr. Carissa F. Etienne, a native of Dominica, in saying that the best vaccine is the one that is available to you now.