Coronavirus: Venezuela Injecting Two-Year-Olds with Dubious Cuban ‘Vaccine’

A Venezuelan doctor prepares a syringe with a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Ch

Venezuela’s socialist regime began administering a Cuban state-made coronavirus vaccine candidate to children as young as two years old on Monday, Venezuela’s state-owned La Radio del Sur reported.

“In Venezuela, the use of the Soberana 2 vaccine, a Cuban vaccine, has already been authorized to vaccinate children between 2 and 11 years old,” Venezuelan Vice President Delcy Rodriguez said during a live interview on state television on November 8.

Rodriguez spoke from a public school in Caracas, Venezuela’s national capital, where she revealed “[state] medical workers had started vaccinating children whose immune systems were compromised.”

Venezuela Health Minister Carlos Alvarado accompanied Rodriguez during the live broadcast. He said there were roughly 3.5 million children between the ages of 2 and 11 years old in Venezuela currently.

La Radio del Sur quoted Rodriguez as saying national health officials authorized “the Cuban and Chinese vaccines” for use in children between the ages of 2 and 11 years old during the November 8 broadcast.

Venezuela has received two Chinese state-made coronavirus vaccines, Sinopharm and Sinovac, through COVAX. The World Health Organization spearheads COVAX, which is an initiative to provide poorer nations with coronavirus vaccines.

Soberana 2 is a coronavirus vaccine candidate developed by Cuba, which is a close ally of Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro’s dictatorship. The Cuban Communist Party claims that the three coronavirus vaccine candidates the country has developed — Soberana 2, Abdala, and Soberana Plus — have efficacy rates of at least 90 percent.

“Venezuelan medical and scientific academies, as well as pediatric unions, have expressed concern about the use of Cuban vaccines,” Reuters observed on November 8.

People wait to to be injected with a dose of the Sinopharm vaccine for COVID-19, during a vaccination campaign at a school in Caracas, Venezuela, Friday, Sept 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Medical authorities have said information on the safety and efficacy of Cuban state-made coronavirus vaccine candidates “has not been published in scientific journals and their quality has not been verified in independent clinical trials or approved by the World Health Organization,” according to the news agency.

China’s Sinopharm vaccine was produced by the Beijing Bio-Institute of Biological Products Co. Ltd, a subsidiary of the state-owned China National Biotec Group (CNBG). Sinovac, also known as CoronaVac, was developed by the Chinese state-run company Sinovac Biotech.

“CoronaVac, produced by Beijing-based company Sinovac, is the world’s most widely used COVID-19 [Chinese coronavirus] vaccine. Not far behind is the vaccine developed in Beijing by state-owned Sinopharm,” Nature reported on October 14.

“In mid-2021, the World Health Organization (WHO) approved the shots for emergency use, on the basis of limited clinical-trial data suggesting that CoronaVac was 51 percent and Sinopharm 79 percent effective at preventing symptomatic disease,” the scientific journal recalled.

“Sinovac’s Covid-19 [Chinese coronavirus] vaccine is safe for children and babies as young as six months old based on the latest data,” senior Sinovac officials told the South China Morning Post (SCMP) on November 7.

The unnamed officials told the newspaper Sinovac “submitted data to the Hong Kong government last month from the first two phases of trials involving mainland Chinese children aged three to 17 who received the vaccine.”

“The trials focused on the children’s immune response and safety findings. Data from the mass immunisation of children aged 12 to 17 on the mainland [i.e. in China] was also included to support the findings on safety,” according to the Hong Kong-based newspaper.

“So far, what we see is … there were no serious adverse reactions. It is good,” Dr. Gao Yongjun, Sinovac’s medical affairs director, told the SCMP.

Sinovac’s latest phase of clinical trials for Coronavac “covers 14,000 children aged six months to 17 years in countries such as South Africa, Chile, the Philippines, and Malaysia, and will check the effects of the vaccine after they have received two doses,” according to the newspaper. “It will track efficacy, immunogenicity — the vaccine’s ability to trigger an immune response in the body — and safety.”

“Of the 2,140 children recruited so far, 684 were assessed for the safety of the vaccine. About 18.6 percent had adverse vaccine-related reactions, mostly headaches, and pain at the injection site,” the SCMP detailed. “This is lower than the 26.6 percent found in the first two stages of trials on the mainland.”


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