Given the uncertainty generated by the pandemic from COVID-19the development of vaccines provided a certain dose of hope to humanity. Several laboratories and many scientists worked on this project, including Rolando Pajón, who before joining the team of Modern and share the progress made with the vaccine, he escaped from Cuba, the island that was his home, but where he also experienced oppression by the government.
Pajón’s departure happened in 2007 and in a conversation with Infobae he pointed out that he responded to two specific reasons. “The first was personal and was that I wanted a future different from mine for my daughters. There were also professional aspirations and he knew that on the island he would not achieve them. There I suffered the same lack of freedom and oppression suffered by many Cuban scientists”he pointed.
His time in the United States and Canada allowed him to acquire the knowledge they were looking for on development and clinical evolution. It would not be until 2018 that he would join the ranks of Moderna from where he worked with messenger RNA technology, the same one that he would use to develop the vaccine against COVID-19. “I can’t say that one part of my career was more important than the other. It has been a continuous development that brought me to the moment when it was necessary”, highlighted Pajón to this medium.
The scientist assures that it generates mixed feelings knowing that for the world he is like a hero, but for his home, Cuba, he is just a traitor. “It is not easy for me to talk about this subject.Pajón points out with a broken voice, but he recovers to give details of the progress made by his work team to provide vaccines to those who have not yet had access to them.
TIME FOR THE LITTLE ONES
After the vaccination of older adults, adults, adolescents and children, it remains to attend to those between 6 months and 6 years. The results of the clinical studies of this vaccine have already been shared with the FDA, an agency that will meet on June 15 to complete the review process of the product developed by Moderna. Given this, it is worth asking how this vaccine differs from those already administered.
“Absolutely nothing”Pajón pointed out to Infobae. “The difference is the dose, while for adults it is 100 µg (micrograms) in each injection, for the group between 6 months and 6 years it is two doses of 25 µg each at an interval of 28 days”he added. The reason for the delay in serving this age group is due to the development of clinical studies that have been carried out in recent months.
Pajón pointed out that the vaccine developed by Moderna does not need to be combined with another substance for its administration and that only two doses will be needed for the aforementioned group. “The immune response may drop over time. The decision to add more doses will depend on the variants of COVID-19 that circulate in the future”he stressed.
Negotiations with the Peruvian State to access this vaccine have not reached an agreement so far. Health authorities are expected to review the characteristics of the pediatric vaccine to reach an agreement. “For a vaccine to save lives, science is not enough”Pajon assured. “Scientists bring solutions to the table, but, ultimately, it is each one of us who ends the pandemic by getting the vaccine.”, he highlighted.