Egypt in talks with Chinese government to manufacture Sinovac coronavirus vaccine: Health minister

Zeinab El-Gundy , Monday 22 Mar 2021

The minister added that the manufacturing of vaccines would start soon, and that Egypt will be a centre for vaccine manufacturing in the Middle East and African regions

Egypt's Minister of Heath Hala Zayed and Chinese ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang in the Press conference in Cairo on Monday

Minister Hala Zayed announced on Monday that negotiations between the ministry and the Chinese government are underway to start manufacturing the Chinese coronavirus vaccine “Sinovac ” inside Egypt.

In a press conference with Chinese ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang, the minister added that the manufacturing of vaccines would start soon, and that Egypt will be a centre for vaccine manufacturing in the Middle East and African regions.

During the press conference, Zayed called on vaccine companies to register their vaccines in Egypt if those vaccines had undergone the necessary studies.

She also revealed that there are talks with Chinese companies to submit their vaccines to the third phase of clinical trials in Egypt.

Concerning the vaccines currently in Egypt, Zayed stated during the press conference that Egypt would receive 40 million doses of coronavirus vaccines during 2021 to cover 20% of its needs.

She hinted during the presser that Egypt would receive its first shipment of vaccines from the global vaccine sharing scheme COVAX in late March.

Egypt is expected to receive a shipment of the Oxford AstraZenca vaccine from COVAX.

COVAX is a global facility representing a partnership between the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), the United Nation’s Children Fund (UNICEF), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working on the equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines. 

Zayed also added that the mass vaccination campaign in Egypt managed to cover most healthcare teams.

Egypt started vaccinating medical teams against the coronavirus in January.

Zayed stated that the ministry expanded this week in distributing the vaccines and within a week, 250,000 chronic disease patients will be vaccinated.

The minister announced that necessary vaccines will be provided to the tourism and banking sector to guarantee stability in the economic sector and avoid job loss following the vaccination of healthcare workers, Chronic diseases patients, and the elderly.

She said the vaccine will be available at 600 hospitals and 5,000 health units within the coming period.

Zayed also stated that sufficient coronavirus vaccines would be provided to this year’s hajj season and that the medical mission of the hajj will be in constant coordination with all ministries in this regard.

Getting the COVID-19 vaccine is a must to go into Saudi Arabia and perform hajj this year, according to the Saudi authorities.

Saudi Arabia limited hajj to limited number of citizens and residents inside the Kingdom in 2020.

The Hajj will take place in July 2021.

From his side, ambassador Liao Liqiang said during the press conference that the Chinese vaccine proved its effectiveness and did not have any side effects.

He also stated that 60 countries are getting their COVID-19 vaccines from China.

He added that China provided 69 developing nations with necessary vaccines as an assistance and is providing 10 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine to COVAX.

According to the Chinese ambassador in Cairo, China is currently developing 17 coronavirus vaccines.

The first batch of vaccines that Egypt acquired was China’s Sinopharm in December 2020. In December 2020, the ministry of finance announced that it signed a contract to receive 20 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

 In January 2021, Egypt received 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.

In February 2021, the third batch of Sinopharm doses was received, and Health Minister Hala Zayed announced that the government signed a deal to import another 100 million vaccine doses.

Egypt also announced that it approved the emergency use of the Russian Sputnik vaccine and reserved 10 million doses of it.

Egypt received 300,000 additional doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine last Saturday, bringing the total number of the doses Egypt has received since December to 650,000.

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