Cuba’s coronavirus vaccine is fiction


There is still no vaccine against new coronavirus. Publications on social networks claim that Cuba has already developed immunization against the virus, which is false. In fact, the Cuban government has entered into a partnership with China to treat covid-19 patients with the drug interferon alfa 2B. According to Granma, the island’s official newspaper, the drug has had positive results in curing 1,500 Chinese patients.

Interferon alfa 2B is not a new drug. According to Fiocruz, it has been used in patients with hepatitis B, hepatitis C, leukemia and others.

The World Health Organization (WHO) indicates that there are still no drugs or therapies proven to prevent infection with the new coronavirus. The entity informs that the virus is so new and different who needs his own vaccine. Immunizations against pneumonia and flu do not offer protection against SARS-Cov-2. So far, the most effective way to protect yourself is with simple hygiene measures, how to clean your hands with soap and water or gel alcohol.

Tourists wearing masks in Cuba. Photo: AP Photo / Ramon Espinosa

WHO has supported scientists who are researching vaccine options. However, there is still no prediction of when they can be released to the public. According to the Butantan Institute, “The research and development process for a new vaccine consists of several stages, therefore, it is a time-consuming process, with high investment and associated with high risks”.

The first stage of developing a vaccine is basic research; then, preclinical studies are carried out (without people). Only then is immunization tested in humans and, after a long process, it can be made available to the population.

O Estadão Checks he also contacted BioFarmaCuba, a company cited as responsible for the development of the vaccine on the island. We did not get a response until the publication of this check.

O E-Scams also checked that rumor.

This rumor was checked for appearing among the main suspicious content circulating on Facebook. Estadão Verifica has access to a list of potentially fake posts and data about its viralization due to a partnership with the social network. When our checks find that information is misleading, Facebook reduces the reach of its circulation. Social network users and page administrators receive notifications if they have posted or shared posts marked as fake. A notice is also sent to anyone who wants to post content that has previously been flagged as untrue.

A prerequisite for participating in the partnership with Facebook is to obtain certification from International Fact Checking Network (IFCN), which, in the case of Estadão Verifica, occurred in January 2019. The international association of fact verifiers requires certified entities to sign a code of principles and make commitments in five areas: non-partisanship and impartiality; transparency of sources; transparency of funding and organization; methodology transparency; and an open and honest correction policy. Commitment to these practices promotes more balance and precision at work.


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