Cuba and Venezuela have inaugurated an advanced technology vaccine production plant, which is considered to be one of the most modern pharmaceutical instillations in Latin America.
Gerardo Briceño, coordinator of the Venezuelan Ministry of Health’s vaccine production plan, stated that the Biological Medicines Production Enterprise will facilitate the country’s pharmaceutical development and independence, with the manufacture of vaccines against emerging diseases such as tetanus and diphtheria.
According to Briceño, Venezuela is increasing its immunization program and almost 95% of the population is protected against viruses and bacteria. He commented that in October 2014 the socialist state enterprise for the production of biological medicines - with Cuban technology - Espromed Bio, will begin to distribute the first batch of doses of the DTP (diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis) vaccine around the country, and will gradually assume production for 120 million batches of doses of biological supplies and vaccines annually. The new company has the ability, for example, to produce anti-venom (biological product for therapeutic use - to treat highly venomous snake bites) and anti-scorpion (used to treat scorpion stings) serums.
"We expect to have some initial doses certified and inspected by September this year, to begin distribution in October. Additionally, we believe we can provide a pentavalent vaccine in Venezuela between December, 2014 and March 2015, according to our regulatory medication system," he stated.
He commented that the distribution of vaccines will be carried out across the country through the Venezuelan Public Health System.
"The ministry (of health) will make vaccines available to all Venezuelans through vaccinations campaigns," added Briceño.
Espromed Bio recently began operations to meet the country’s vaccine needs. Its creation was formalized in the Official Gazette no. 412.459, June 12, 2014.
With the intention of cooperating with sister nations in the sphere of health, between 20% and 30% of Espromed Bio’s products are intended for the international market.
Briceño stated that the company expects to export vaccines to countries affiliated with regional blocs such as the Southern Common Market (Mercosur), The Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA) and PetroCaribe. (Cubadebate & AVN)