Abdala is here, and not soon enough

They say that the good news saturated the social networks. We have a vaccine and it’s our own. It’s almost not news anymore. It is now history and of the great kind, the memorable kind.

With more than four million Cubans having received one or more doses of one of the five vaccine candidates (there were 11.33 million inhabitants in 2019), the contagious effect of new strains seems to have no end in sight, and for the moment seems almost uncontrollable: More than 1,300 daily cases in the last fortnight.

But in such a worrisome situation, the great surprise is having achieved, in about 15 months, a local vaccine with a 92.28% effectiveness and with an imminent approval by the regulatory entity. Remember that the World Health Organization approves with 50% effectiveness.

Day by day new and higher numbers of infected, admitted, confined in intensive care, and deaths are reported, which already amount to 1,180 daily (on Tuesday, June 22) since the pandemic began in March of last year.

Mayabeque, Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Ciego de Ávila and Camagüey are the provinces with the highest infection rate despite a slight decrease in the capital due to the effect of the first doses of the vaccine candidate, Abdala. The infection rate remains high, with 167 per 100,000 inhabitants.

However, the effort of medical and paramedical personnel has achieved a recovery rate of 94.8%.

Meanwhile, psychologists increase their prophylactic work in the face of what the World Health Organization (WHO) has called “pandemic exhaustion.” They’ve made make various recommendations at the perfect time in the midst of the current economic difficulties in multiple adversities on a day-to-day basis.

“We are under the influence of many psychological mechanisms,” warned Professor Olga Esther Infante, citing irritability, depression and despair, among other present evils. On top of that, the summer heat increases people’s discomfort.

“We are going to solve the problem, but we need greater citizen collaboration,” reiterated the spokesman for the Ministry of Public Health, Dr. Francisco Durán, national director of Epidemiology.

Meanwhile, thousands of disposable syringes, donations from Cubans living abroad and solidarity movements with the island, continue to arrive in Havana. According to sources, the island needs about 30 million syringes.

It seems that the decrease in cases will basically be due to immunization. There is too much citizen and institutional indiscipline.

Cuba is the only country in Latin America with five vaccine candidates, an extraordinary scientific and logistical effort despite a blockade that has been condemned almost unanimously in the United Nations, but that once again will be ignored by the great imperial power before the international community’s proclamation.