Havana city, Cuba.- France will support Cuba to produce vaccines against meningitis and pneumonia, so it announced a fund of 45 million euros for that purpose.
The funding will go to the Finlay Vaccines Institute (IFV) for the next three years and will allow equipping and remodeling the vaccine production plants in Cuba, French Ambassador in Havana Patrice Paoli said at a meeting.
This collaboration is a priority for France in projects with Cuba in the health sector, the diplomat said. It represents a decisive step and the first disbursements are expected to be made in the remaining months of 2021.
In his words of gratitude, Cuban scientist and IFV Director Vicente Verez recalled that collaboration between Cuba and France in this sector has been going on for several years, and previously, the French Development Agency (AFD) granted 5.3 million euros (6.2 million dollars approximately) for the efforts to control the Covid-19 pandemic in Cuba.
This new financing will serve, together with that of the IFV, to expand the production of subunit vaccines, on whose platforms Cuban formulations against Covid-19 are based, Verez pointed out.
For the institution, by providing quality vaccines at an affordable price, distributed through the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), this project will improve the vaccination coverage against meningitis and pneumonia, and will contribute to reducing inequalities between countries and populations in terms of access to health and vaccination.
Present at the meeting were Inalvis Bonachaea, director of Trade Policy with Europe at the Ministry of Foreign Trade, and the vice president of the National Bank of Cuba, Maritza Rojo.
In the 1980s, the IFV developed VA-MENGOC-BC, which has been used massively since 1989 and was included in the National Immunization Program.