Egypt approves Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

China has given conditional approval to a coronavirus vaccine developed by state-owned Sinopharm. (File/AP)
China has given conditional approval to a coronavirus vaccine developed by state-owned Sinopharm. (File/AP)
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Updated 03 January 2021

Egypt approves Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine

Egypt approves Chinese Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine
  • Vaccine to be distributed to medical staff in the second week of January
  • A website had been set up registering citizens to receive the first dose of the vaccine

CAIRO: Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed has announced legislative approval for the emergency use of the Chinese Sinopharm coronavirus vaccine.

In a statement to the Egyptian media, Zayed said: “We have obtained the approval of the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) for an emergency license to use the Sinopharm vaccine.”

She indicated that the vaccine would start to be distributed to medical staff in the second week of January.

Zayed said that Egypt would obtain the British AstraZeneca vaccine through the Vaxira company of the Egyptian Ministry of Health, and that Britain has granted approval to supply Egypt with it.

She confirmed that the contracted manufacturing stages for the AstraZeneca vaccine had begun and that it would be received by the end of this month.

Zayed said that the ministry had provided more than 39 million syringes, in addition to the quantities available in the governorates, noting that the ministry has contracted with national companies to supply more syringes.

A website had been set up registering citizens to receive the first dose of the vaccine, with a video to explain how it works, as well as an explanation of the informed consent that the recipient will sign, she said.

The minister said that recipients of the first dose of the vaccine would receive a medical report to follow up on their condition until they received the second dose 21 days later. Citizens would be vaccinated in the second or third week of January, as soon as the second shipment of the Chinese vaccine arrived.

Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has directed the opening of centers for vaccination in all governorates.

Egyptian presidential spokesperson, Bassam Radi, said that El-Sisi had directed the “Long Live Egypt” fund to support the provision of the anti-coronaviris vaccine to high-priority groups, especially medical staff, followed by those with critical and chronic cases, infected cases and the elderly.

In previous press statements, Zayed indicated that the Chinese vaccine was chosen by a committee that included representatives from the medical services of the armed forces, the Ministry of Higher Education, the Egyptian Drug Authority and WHO.