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    Second reinforcement of anticovid-19 vaccination will begin in people over 50 years of age

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    Comenzará segundo refuerzo de vacunación anticovid-19 en mayores de 50 años

    The Cuban Ministry of Public Health, after analyzes carried out jointly with several responsible entities in this regard, made the decision to allocate the second anti-COVID-19 vaccination booster to people 50 years of age and older —a range previously conceived from the 70s—, at the starting point that it is possible to streamline the immunization process throughout the country.

    This was announced this Tuesday, from the Palace of the Revolution, by Dr. Ileana Morales Suárez, director of Science and Technological Innovation of the Minsap, during the meeting of experts and scientists engaged in science and technological innovation activities to confront COVID -19, and where other relevant issues for Cuba were also addressed.

    With this new age scheme, there will be a little more than four million people to whom the booster dose will be administered, according to Dr. Ileana Morales at the meeting headed by the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez; as well as by the member of the Political Bureau and prime minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz; and the deputy prime ministers, Inés María Chapman Waugh, and Jorge Luis Perdomo Di-Lella.

    The director of Science and Technological Innovation of the Minsap stated that this weekend the booster doses would also begin to be administered to risk groups. Regarding the scope of such a process, President Díaz-Canel commented that "now our success in maintaining" the encouraging figures lies in "maintaining the level of immunization that we have, which has to be based on reinforcements."

    He shared the idea based on the evidence that if the world does not resolve the situation of the epidemic "we will continue to be exposed": "In other words - he stressed - we cannot lose the systematic nature of the reinforcement because, if not, we return to a complex situation”.Data that illustrates the situation of humanity in the face of COVID-19, and how much the Island has achieved in its confrontation with the pandemic, shared Dr. Ileana Morales Suárez, in a point that dealt with the updating of the anti-COVID-19 vaccination strategy in Cuba.

    The expert preferred to start with inequities, because, she said, "when one looks at the line of low-income countries, against what high-income countries have achieved, the differences are colossal."

    A graph served as support for him to talk about the number of people in the world who have not been vaccinated against the new coronavirus. Pointing out on a color map how the planet has been hit by the omicron variant, the doctor stated that if the world had been vaccinated as the Island and other countries are, the gigantic spike that came from the disease would not have occurred.

    The reality is far from the previous premise, and it is sad: as the expert detailed from parts of this Monday, only 14 countries had more than 85% of their population vaccinated. Some thirty nations have less than ten percent in this health condition; and there are 42 countries that have less than 20%. Another piece of information shared by Ileana Morales speaks for itself of inequity: 95 countries —out of 194 in the world— have less than 50% of their population vaccinated.

    "It fills us all Cubans with pride," he argued, that the Island leads the list of countries according to the number of vaccines administered per hundred people: "We led that figure a long time ago, but what most catches our attention —added the doctor— it is the difference we have against the world average”. The world average, he emphasized, does not reach 148, while Cuba has a figure that exceeds 320.

    "In terms of mortality, Ileana Morales pointed out, we are already at the minimum possible, which was what Professor Guinovart predicted about six months ago." And then he showed a sheet that "is the one we like the most, the one we feel most satisfied with," according to which pediatric vaccination has reached 1,909,980 children in Cuba (97.8% of the total).

    They should be vaccinated, he said, 1,954,000, and a little more than children: that number of those who have not been vaccinated represents sick children, or who have presented some health situation. Already the booster dose in this group of the population, detailed the doctor, "goes by 61.3%".

    Regarding the number of millions of doses administered throughout the country, the expert recalled that administering 36.3 million in one year "has been a very strong effort." Moreover, we continue…, he stated “We want to continue protecting the Cuban population, as you (addressed President Díaz-Canel) have repeatedly indicated to us.”

    Extensive information at the meeting was offered by Dr.C. Pedro Mas Bermejo, which dealt with the study of the effectiveness of the Abdala vaccine in the pediatric population of Cuba. The also vice president of the Cuban Society of Hygiene and Epidemiology, said “since July of last year we have been evaluating the effectiveness of the Abdala vaccine, and here are the results”: 94% effective for severe disease; and a 93.69 for death. These are results, he asserted, thanks to which the number of deaths decreased tremendously.

    Regarding the effectiveness of the Abdala vaccine in the prevention of asymptomatic disease, in patients between 16 and 18 years of age, the percentage is 98.9. That effectiveness is "extremely high," said the expert.

    For all the effort that Cuba has made to save lives against COVID-19, this Tuesday Dr.C. Raúl Guinovart Díaz, dean of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computing at the University of Havana, was able to affirm, based on forecast models, that it is expected that the epidemic will remain under control in the country during the coming weeks.

    More than once, President Díaz-Canel asked about the families that have been severely hit by the incident at the Saratoga hotel that occurred on May 6. He did so during the meeting of the temporary work group for the prevention and confrontation of COVID-19, where he also followed up on what is being done because of the explosion of the tourist facility located in Old Havana.

    At the meeting -which also included the Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero Cruz, as well as the General of the Army Corps of the Revolutionary Armed Forces (FAR) and Hero of the Republic of Cuba, Ramón Espinosa Martín- from the presidency, He reviewed, in detail, how the affected families are being cared for.

    The Minister of Foreign Trade and Foreign Investment, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, reported that the offers made these days by international institutions are fundamentally goods for those affected and resources for Public Health (including medicines and medical supplies). "There are donations from institutions of the United Nations system, of foreign companies, and of associations of Cubans residing abroad,” the minister, who also mentioned Cuban entities, alleged.

    The Governor of Havana, Reinaldo García Zapata, stated that he has completed the survey of the needs of all the families who are housed in the Villa Panamericana (in Habana del Este), "we have already surveyed the specific effects that each one of those had families”. In addition, he added: “we are reviewing all the families of the deceased, because the situation is quite delicate in some, because many of the deceased were the breadwinners of their families.”

    As described by García Zapata, several fronts are being attended to at the same time: the belongings of the families that had to be evacuated are being transferred; Work continues on the houses, on the affected school, as well as on the Capitol, and on the Martí Theater.

    The Head of State was interested in the people who receive pension treatment as a result of the Saratoga events. In this regard, Marta Elena Feitó Cabrera, Minister of Labor and Social Security, explained that all pensions are being processed, service times are being rebuilt, and provisional pensions have been conceived, in order to save time, while the official ones are prepared. The 22 families who are in the Pan Americana Village, he added, have been given a Social Assistance benefit.

    For his part, the head of the MINSAP, José Angel Portal Miranda – who, when addressing the figures alluding to COVID-19, stated that the incidence levels of transmission continue to decrease – said regarding the part of those affected by the hotel incident that , of the 99 who were injured:

    The number of deceased (46) remains the same.

    There are 41 medical discharges.

    There are 12 hospitalized patients (of them, one critical).

    There are four in serious condition (of them, two are children).

    There are seven care patients (of which two are children).

    In the case of adults, there is a critical case.

    In the case of the children, of the four there are two serious, two of care, and none is critical; and the patient of Spanish nationality continues to evolve favorably.

    Through videoconference, the authorities of each province and the Isla de la Juventud special municipality informed the country's leadership about the situation of the COVID-19 epidemic and other priority issues for national life.