File Photo: A logo is pictured on the World Health Organization (WHO) headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, November 22, 2017. (Photo: Reuters)
The World Health Organisation praised Egypt on Wednesday for producing the first 1 million Sinovac vaccine doses as well as for the country’s plan to vaccinate 40 million citizens against the virus by the end of the year.
The government announced this week that it has produced 1 million Sinovac doses through the state-owned Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).
The manufacturing of Sinovac vaccine doses is part of an agreement signed between VACSERA and the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
Egypt’s plan to vaccinate 40 million citizens against the pandemic by the end of the year is in line with the WHO’s call for countries to vaccinate at least 40 percent of their citizens in 2021, a statement by WHO Egypt read.
The organisation also hailed Egypt’s effort to achieve self-sufficiency in producing coronavirus vaccines so that it can become a hub for exporting doses to Africa.
The WHO and its partners will work on expanding the capabilities of vaccine manufacturing for low- and middle-income countries, the statement said.
The WHO is therefore working to facilitate the establishment of at least one centre to transfer technology and provide training for manufacturers in low- and middle-income countries, the statement added.
On 1 June, the WHO validated the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine for emergency use, assuring countries and funders that the Chinese vaccine meets international standards for safety, efficacy and manufacturing.
Naeema Al-Gasseer, the WHO representative in Egypt, hailed the cooperation between Egypt and China as a “successful model for international cooperation and the transference of international expertise.”
Egypt has also imported millions of vaccine doses developed by China’s Sinopharm.