“Phase two of clinical tests for the vaccine produced by the Pasteur Institute of Iran and the Cuban Finlay Institute has kicked off in … Havana,” said Kianoush Jahanpour, the head of the Public Relations Office of the Iranian health ministry.
“In this phase, more than 100 people ranging in age from 19 to 80 years old have been vaccinated so far. At this centre, too, 400 people will receive shots, and the total number of volunteers [for injection] will be around 900 at this stage,” he added.
Iran and Cuba have begun trials of a joint Covid-19 vaccine as Iran keeps fighting the coronavirus outbreak.
The Cuban vaccine, called Soberana 02, is the most advanced of Cuba’s four vaccine candidates and has been developed in cooperation between Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute and Iran’s Pasteur Institute.
The cooperation between the two countries, both of which are under illegal US sanctions, reflects a shared drive for self-sufficiency and less reliance on imports from the West. The name of the vaccine, Soberana, is Spanish for “sovereign.”