CAIRO: The Egyptian Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, said that the new coronavirus vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinopharm has proven effective and safe, indicating Cairo’s intention to manufacture the Chinese vaccine.
The minister said that an agreement will also be signed with the Chinese company Sinovac to start manufacturing coronavirus vaccines in Egypt through the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (Vacsera).
She said that the World Health Organization (WHO) sent international experts to assess the performance of Vacsera factories in preparation for the start of vaccine production in Egypt and export to African countries.
The minister announced that, with 17 Chinese vaccines in the process of clinical research, Egypt is seeking to participate in clinical trials of those vaccines in the third phase.
She said that Egypt hopes to become a center for manufacturing the vaccine, both for local use and for export to African countries.
The CEO of Sinovac had previously said that the company provided 160 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine to 18 countries, including China.
Egypt did not receive Sinovac vaccines, but it did get 650,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine.
The minister said at a press conference with the Chinese Ambassador to Egypt, Liao Li Zhang, that Cairo will receive batches of coronavirus vaccines through the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) within the COVAX initiative in the next few days.
She indicated that an agreement would be signed with Sinopharma to buy doses of the vaccine, confirming Egypt’s ability to cover its vaccination needs.
The Egyptian Health Ministry is expanding the designated places for citizens to receive coronavirus vaccinations to include more than 5,000 units and health centers, and more than 600 hospitals.
The minister said that 250,000 citizens will receive the vaccine by the end of this week, including the elderly and people with chronic diseases, adding that citizens who have received the vaccine can obtain electronic certificates through the ministry’s website.
She said that Egypt is prepared to face the third wave of the coronavirus, noting that there are daily meetings between directors of health directorates and hospitals to review all medical needs and the readiness of hospitals nationwide.