Clinical trials for Egypt's first coronavirus vaccine to take 6-9 months: Head of supervising team

Ahram Online , Monday 15 Nov 2021

Clinical trials for Egypt's first coronavirus vaccine, COVI-VAX, are expected to be concluded in six to nine months, said head of the team in charge of supervising the clinical research studies Osama Azmi.

Covo-VAX. Al-ahram

The vaccine file will be submitted to the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) for approval before open-market roll-out, after ensuring that it is safe and effective, Azmi told Egyptian state news agency MENA on Sunday.

At a press conference in Cairo on Sunday, Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar, the minister of higher education and acting health minister, said the country will start clinical trials for a domestically-made coronavirus vaccine.

The COVI-VAX is the product of cooperation between Egypt's National Centre for Research (NCR) and the private-sector bio-technology company Vaccine Valley.

Thus far, 72 volunteers have received the first shot of the Egyptian vaccine, Azmi, who is a professor at NRC, said.

"The first phase of trials includes volunteers aged between 18 and 50 with no chronic illnesses," he explained.

Azmi stressed that during the pre-clinical trials phase, which involved up to 540 animal species, the Egyptian vaccine proved effective against all COVID-19 variants, including the Delta.

In June, the COVI-VAX vaccine received the approval of the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) to finish the pre-clinical studies, 18 months after the NCR-affiliated Scientific Excellence Centre for Virology had launched a set of research and studies on the pandemic.

Egypt has stepped up efforts to encourage more people to receive the vaccine, relying completely on batches of vaccines shipped from abroad, including through the international COVAX facility, an initiative that aims to provide low- and middle-income countries with their vaccine requirements.

Starting Monday, all government employees are asked to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR test to enter their workplaces.

Egypt, where a total of 343,961 coronavirus cases and 19,499 deaths were reported, has administered some 38 million doses of coranavirus vaccines to around 25 million citizens, according to health ministry officials.

The country, which is currently witnessing the peak of the fourth wave with daily tallies exceeding 900 infections, has set a goal of vaccinating 40 million people by the end of 2021.


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