Egypt’s coronavirus vaccine VACSERA plant to serve local and African needs: Health minister

Amr Kandil , Monday 30 Aug 2021

The plant is set to be the biggest in MENA for the production of COVID-19 vaccines

Mostafa Madbouly & Hala Zayed
Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly speaking during a press conference with Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed after their visit to VACSERA complex on Monday, 30 August, 2021. Photo courtesy of Egyptian Cabinet Facebook page.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Monday that the coronavirus vaccines plant at the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) complex is planned to produce up to 24,000 packs per hour.

The plant is set to be the biggest in the Middle East and North Africa for the production of COVID-19 vaccines, Zayed said during a tour of the complex with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.

Zayed expects the plant to become a regional hub for the production of vaccines planned for export to African countries.

The factory is built over 6,000 square metres as part of the VACSERA complex – 10-fold the size of the plant – located in the industrial zone of Giza’s 6 October City, Zayed added.

The plant is expected to open by the end of the year, she noted.

The VACSERA complex will work with leading international companies to produce different types of vaccines. This cooperation aims to transfer the technologies of manufacturing seasonal flu and pneumococcal conjugate vaccines to Egypt, Zayed said.

Madbouly said the complex is a giant edifice that aims at producing eight vital types of vaccines, noting that Egypt had been previously producing these vaccines but their production was halted.

At a press conference following his tour in the complex, Madbouly said it will be ready by the end of November and will be operational after sealing an agreement with a company to run it.

The complex is set up on an area of 15 feddans and is meant to revive the local production of vaccines, which is an issue of national security to Egypt, the premier added.

Madbouly urged citizens to adhere to the coronavirus preventive measures, especially during the coming period, in light of the latest surge in coronavirus cases.

Egypt has set a strict plan to secure coronavirus vaccine doses to the largest possible number of people before the end of the year, Madbouly affirmed.

Egypt has been reporting over 200 new coronavirus cases on a daily basis since 25 August, for the first time since 2 July.

The Ministry of Health in August said the fourth coronavirus wave is expected to hit Egypt around the end of September or the beginning of October.

Zayed announced on 23 August that the first case of the new Delta Plus coronavirus variant was recorded in July.

To date, Egypt’s vaccination campaign has included the use of the imported version of the Sinovac vaccine along with the Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, and Sinopharm vaccines.

Egypt also plans to produce millions of Sinovac and Sputnik shots annually to cover local and African needs.

The government has set a goal to vaccinate 40 million citizens by the end of the year, representing around 40 percent of the population, a step hailed by the World Health Organisation.

Last week, Egypt released the first one million doses of its locally-produced Sinovac/VACSERA vaccine after the completion of the required evaluation tests, the Ministry of Health announced.

The one million doses were distributed among coronavirus vaccination centres nationwide, totalling 657 so far, including 145 centres for those traveling abroad, health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

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