Mon, 25 Oct 2021

HAVANA, Oct. 12 (Xinhua) -- Cuba will start administering booster shots with its homegrown COVID-19 vaccines in November, Cuban Health Minister Jose Angel Portal said Tuesday at a press conference.

"In the very beginning, we will administer coronavirus booster shots to vulnerable groups and frontline workers, including doctors, nurses, scientists, and people with the highest likelihood of exposure to the virus," he told Xinhua.

The Caribbean nation also plans to expand vaccine studies to children under two, after more than 90 percent of kids aged 2-18 have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, Portal said.

Cuba on Tuesday registered 2,638 cases and 37 related deaths, bringing the national counts to 923,966 and 7,928 respectively.

Eduardo Martinez, president of Cuba's biotech company BioCubafarma, said the island nation would open a new plant to produce vaccines at its Mariel Special Development Zone, some 45 km east of the country's capital Havana.

"We are in talks with the World Health Organization over the global use of our vaccines," he said. "The Cuban strategy to develop homegrown vaccines has worked."

Since the start of the island's vaccination campaign in May, 86.1 percent of the country's 11 million people have received at least the first dose of a domestic coronavirus vaccine.

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