HAVANA — The archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean Patrick O’Malley, took a tour of a Cuban COVID-19 vaccine laboratory on Thursday as part of a visit to several Latin American nations.

O’Malley’s visit to the Center of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology followed a meeting with Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez and a Wednesday evening Mass in honor of Cuba’s patron saint, the Virgin of Charity.

“For us as Catholics, health is a very important subject, beginning with the example of Jesus Christ, who dedicated so much of his ministry to caring for the sick,” said O’Malley, adding that the church operates hospitals and clinics around the world.

Cuba is the only country in Latin America to have developed its own vaccines against COVID-19 — three of them so far — and it is hoping to win World Health Organization approval for their use in other nations.

The cardinal planned to visit the Dominican Republic later Thursday and then head to Haiti to observe aid efforts for victims of the recent earthquake that killed more than 2,000 people.

He made no public comments on politics. Cuba so far has been disappointed in its hopes for a more relaxed relationship with the United State under President Joe Biden following former President Donald Trump’s policy of severely tightening the U.S. embargoes of the island.