photo of Cuban doctor vaccinating a Haitian woman - photo from

The Conversation: Big Pharma vs. Little Cuba: Why Cubans trust vaccines and how they’re helping vaccinate the world

Why Cubans trust vaccines

In December 2021 and January 2022, I asked open-ended questions directly to 40 Cuban residents — acquaintances, colleagues and friends from my more than 20 years studying Cuban culture and, since 2020, Cuba’s COVID-19 response.

In January and February, I collected 40 anonymous responses via a VoIP survey with the assistance of my colleague Alejandro Mestre. While not statistically representative, this study is indicative. Every respondent — even government naysayers — wanted to be vaccinated.

As she rubbed the veins of her inner forearm, an office worker joked: “Yes, everyone has confidence in the vaccines. You know, sometimes I think, because the Cuban doctors know us, the vaccines have a component of us in them.”