CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Health Hala Zayed confirmed that Egypt has obtained legislative approval to produce the Chinese Sinovac coronavirus vaccine locally.
Zayed said that the country is negotiating with the Chinese company Sinovac to manufacture its vaccine in Egypt.
Contracts for local manufacturing will be signed within days following an agreement on the proposal, she said.
“We are seeking to manufacture the Sinovac vaccine and distribute it to African countries. We have a production line ready and are now negotiating financial matters,” she said.
Zayed said that a vaccine shipment that arrived in Egypt on Thursday is the first of several deliveries, with the vaccine to be offered free under a directive by Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Egypt has a contract with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) to obtain more vaccines, she said.
Priority will be given to medical staff, followed by those with chronic diseases, the minister said.
Under the agreement with GAVI, 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccine will be provided, most likely from AstraZeneca.
On Thursday, Egypt received its first batch of coronavirus vaccine, produced by the Chinese company Sinopharma.
The delivery arrived at Cairo International Airport via the United Arab Emirates.
A website will be launched for those seeking the vaccine with a registration site for individual information.
“We have a cold (supply) chain that can handle 110 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine,” she said.