Clinical trials for COVI-VAX coronavirus vaccine kick off: Egyptian Drug Authority

Ahram Online , Sunday 14 Nov 2021

Egypt’s Drug Authority officially announced on Sunday the start of clinical trials for COVI-VAX, the country’s first coronavirus vaccine.

Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar
Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar of Higher Education and Scientific Research at the event of launching the clinical trials of Egypt's first coronavirus vaccine "Covi Vax"

In a press conference in Cairo attended by Minister of Higher Education Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, and acting health minister, the Egyptian Drugs Authority (EDA) announced that the COVI-VAX vaccine was a product of cooperation between the National Centre for Research (NCR) and the private-sector bio-technology company Vaccine Valley.

During the press conference, the EDA released a short video describing the two-year process of developing the vaccine through the clinical trials phase.

According to the video, the Department of Scientific Excellence in Virology at the NCR started its research on the virus in December 2019 as it was initially spreading in China, when its researchers examined several wild animals in Egypt to see if they were carrying the virus.

In March 2020, researchers began examining the virus in humans as the first local Egyptian cases were recorded.

By May 2020, they had finished the genetic mapping of the virus and began working on a vaccine.

In June 2020, animal testing for two vaccines began.

Later, the COVI-VAX vaccine received the EDA's approval to finish its pre-clinical studies.

News media earlier this year reported on Egypt’s plans to manufacture its own vaccine, but further official information about the project had not been issued.

Egypt has locally produced millions of doses of the Chinese Sinovac coronavirus vaccine since mid-2021 in its VACSERA factories in Giza’s 6 of October City.

The country has also imported millions of doses of all types of vaccines used worldwide, including Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Pfizer, Sputnik V, AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, and Sinovac.

Egypt seeks to vaccinate 40 percent of the population by the end of the year as part of its vaccination campaign that started in January 2021.

So far, around 25 million citizens have received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine nationwide, according to health officials earlier this month.

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