File photo: Egyptian cabinet (Photo: Al-Ahram)
Egypt has stressed the need to receive its share of the coronavirus vaccine from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), said Bahaa El-Deen Zidan, the head of the authority for unified procurement.
In a report sent to Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on the efforts exerted by the procurement authority to follow up on the latest developments on the coronavirus vaccines, Zidan said Egypt has "reiterated its share of the coronavirus vaccine from GAVI during a meeting held on Tuesday between representatives of the Egyptian authority and officials from the international alliance," a cabinet statement said on Thursday.
The GAVI is an international body aimed at creating equal access to new and underused vaccines for children. Along with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), the GAVI co-leads the COVAX Facility, a financing mechanism designed to guarantee rapid and fair access to COVID-19 vaccines worldwide. It aims to deliver 2 billion doses of safe, effective COVID-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
According to the WHO, 75 countries have joined the COVAX Facility. These countries are to finance the vaccines from their own public finance budgets, and up to 90 lower-income countries could be supported through voluntary donations to GAVI’s COVAX Advance Market Commitment (AMC).
Zidan told the prime minister that the GAVI had presented the available vaccines, the manufacturers, and stages needed to develop them, as well as the timetable for the process of manufacturing and exporting the vaccine to various countries.
The vaccines are to be manufactured in September and October and GAVI will adopt a plan for distributing them to countries, he added.
Madbouly said that President Abdel-Fattah El Sisi has instructed the government to get hold of any vaccine once available, the statement added.
The prime minister has called for following up on the latest results of experiments in vaccines worldwide, to provide them as soon as they are available for sale to countries.
Madbouly's call was made during a set of meetings held in recent weeks with the president's adviser for health affairs, the ministers of health and scientific research, and the head of the unified procurement authority, according to the statement.
Egypt has been using a variety of immune-boosting drugs to treat COVD-19 cases.
It has been seeing a remarkable drop in detected coronavirus cases recently, registering daily cases lower than 1,000 for two weeks.
As of Wednesday, the country has recorded a total of 89,745 coronavirus cases, including 4,440 fatalities and 30,075 recoveries, since the outbreak began in February.