CAIRO: Egypt has produced 1 million coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccines and the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) factory can produce 300,000 doses per shift, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly told a press conference on Tuesday.
He said that Egypt had succeeded in managing the COVID-19 crisis by limiting the spread of the virus and making agreements with parties to obtain or produce vaccines.
VACSERA officials presented to Madbouly plans to produce more than 200 million doses by the end of the year, which would be enough to achieve the Egyptian goal of vaccinating 40 million citizens and allocating surplus production to export to allied countries.
Madbouly inspected the production lines of the vaccine at the VACSERA Agouza factory, set up in cooperation with the Chinese company Sinovac.
“We asked the Chinese partner to produce 80 million vaccine doses by the end of the year, which means doubling the required quantities,” Madbouly said.
Health Minister Hala Zayed said that another 2 million doses of the vaccine will be produced within the coming days.
She said the new doses passed 11 phases of tests over six weeks before heading to the manufacturing stage, followed by stability studies.
Zayed said coordination with Beijing began in June last year with the participation of the Chinese Embassy.
This communication continued, she said, until an agreement to manufacture and transfer the technology was signed between VACSERA and Chinese company Sinovac at the Egyptian Cabinet headquarters in April this year.
She highlighted the World Health Organization’s praise during its visit to the VACSERA factory for the quality and efficiency of the lines equipped for vaccine production.
This step, she said, qualifies Egypt to become a leader in the field of vaccine production ahead of exports within the continent and other countries in the Middle East and North Africa after achieving self-sufficiency.
Mohamed Awad Taj El-Din, advisor to the president for health and preventive affairs, said Egypt is qualified to become a center at the African and Middle Eastern level for the production of COVID-19 vaccines along with other jabs.
He referred to President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to localize the vaccine production industry with the help of foreign expertise.
He said Africa is still suffering from many diseases and pandemics and is in dire need of support, adding that Egypt is providing assistance with its scientific, technical and health expertise.
Taj El-Din said the strong and deep relations between Egypt and China facilitated the importing of raw materials and manufacturing the jabs in Egypt.
He said there is no shortage of COVID-19 medicines, adding that there is no supply risk for vaccines or medicines manufactured out of the country as Egyptian companies can produce them.