Protecting Pregnant Women: Cuba’s Success with COVID-19 Vaccines and Jusvinza Treatment

At the meeting of experts and scientists for health issues headed by the President of the Republic, this Tuesday the results obtained from two studies carried out on pregnant women were presented

Protecting pregnant women and their babies has been a priority in Cuba since COVID-19 began to spread throughout the world. And although unfortunately in 2021, during the worst moments of the pandemic peak faced by our country, 93 of them died, once vaccination began in this risk group, it was possible to bring this indicator to zero and achieve greater protection for the lives of the pregnant women and the unborn.

This is confirmed by the historical figures of the epidemic in the Greater Antilles, and is also confirmed by the safety and immunogenicity evaluation carried out in 940 obstetric patients who received the three doses of the Abdala vaccine, as part of a research carried out in five Havana maternity hospitals.

These results —which were presented this Tuesday afternoon during the meeting of experts and scientists on health issues headed by the First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and President of the Republic, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez— showed that 92.6% of the pregnant women studied were not infected with COVID-19; of the 6% that did, only 0.4% had moderate disease and the rest mild.

When presenting the study, Dr. Jorge Aguilar Estrada, head of the Teaching Department of the “Ramón González Coro” Gynecobstetric Hospital, explained that in none of the cases were serious adverse events related to vaccination.

According to the results obtained, he assured that “The levels of antibodies detected in maternal serum, umbilical cord blood, and colostrum were high, with high levels of virus inhibition, which confers protection against SARS-CoV-2, both to the mother and her baby.”

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For her part, Dr. Idania Baladrón Castrillo, vice president of the Cuban Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology, emphasized that the study carried out in this case was observational, it is not a clinical study. It is a study —she said— that has been done in real life conditions, during the Health intervention for pregnant women.

“Vaccination has been not only safe, but also of great benefit to our patients,” he emphasized. Being an observational study and not a clinical one, he referred to her, the greatest scientific evidence is in its contribution to be able to detect signs that could be considered negative and in turn to make certain recommendations to continue advancing in the process.

It was possible to verify, he asserted, that in any trimester that a woman is vaccinated there will be benefit, both for her and for the unborn child, the most propitious moment being around the 22nd week of pregnancy.

At the end of this presentation, President Díaz-Canel asked the scientists if these results would now change the vaccination protocols for pregnant women, to which they assured that “based on them it was possible to adjust the protocols on the fly.”

“There are already a significant number of pregnant women with booster doses, which will result in fewer positive cases in mothers and in children under two years of age who are the ones who have not been vaccinated,” said the First Deputy Minister of Public Health. , Tania Margarita Cruz Hernandez.

These results, in addition, added Ileana Morales Suárez, director of Science and Innovation and Technology of the Ministry of Public Health, support the decision “not to vaccinate children under two years of age, since it is shown that both for breast milk and for all what the mother manages to transmit to the baby, this one acquires a level of immunity”.

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Jusvinza and its benefits for obstetric patients

Photo: Studio Revolution.

Precisely taking into account that pregnant women are a group at special risk, due to the changes that occur in their bodies during this period, several were the alternatives used for their protection during the course of the epidemic in Cuba. About the results of the application of the peptide CIGB-258, named Jusvinza, in obstetric patients with severe or critical manifestations when becoming ill with COVID-19, it was also commented this Tuesday afternoon.

More than seven thousand pregnant women were infected in the country between 2020 and 2021, the vast majority of them in that last year, in which 631 were reported as serious or critical and unfortunately 93 died.

As explained during the meeting by the specialist in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Dr. Anadys Segura Fernández, Head of Teaching and Postgraduate Studies at the Central Military Hospital “Dr. Luis Díaz Soto” —this was the reference center in the country to care for seriously and critically ill pregnant women infected with the virus— among the multiple actions carried out then to protect them, was the introduction into the protocols of innovative BioCubaFarma products, as is the case of Jusvinza, which has an anti-inflammatory action, and had already demonstrated safety and effectiveness in adult patients with COVID-19.

These results, he confirmed, allowed the authorization for the use of this drug in obstetric patients with COVID-19 pneumonia.

“None of the patients who had moderate or severe disease and were treated with Jusvinza had disease progression to more severe forms,” ​​he said.

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This is, he reflected, one of the main results obtained with the use of this drug, to which is added a “clinical and radiological improvement, as well as a reduction in inflammation biomarkers, compared to patients not treated with this drug ”.

In no case, he emphasized, were adverse effects attributable to the use of the medication identified.

Among the prospects for the use of this medication, he explained that Its use has been planned in seriously and critically ill patients with hyperinflammation without SARS-CoV-2 infection; recurrent abortions; preeclampsia-eclampsia syndrome; endometriosis; and pregnant women with antiphospholipid syndrome.

These two issues that we have seen today – the President of the Republic appreciated – continue to show that “the use of Cuban medicines, now in more specific treatments in pregnant women, give results that are also impressive.”

Hence the insistence of the Head of State in continuing to work on these issues and validating the results that are being obtained, so that “the entire field in which these drugs can work with benefits” can be appreciated.

Our products continue to give good results, as well as our vaccines, said the president, and that “is good for us and it is good for the world.”

2023-06-07 01:33:33
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