Egyptian Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouli chairs a Cabinet meeting to discuss developments on coronavirus candidate vaccines (Courtesy of the Cabinet's Facebook page)
A cabinet’s medical committee’s meeting mentioned an agreement with the vaccine alliance, GAVI, to provide Egypt with 20 million doses of Coronavirus vaccines that might get an emergency approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Ministers attending the meeting were informed that people who are more prone to Coronavirus infections, such as doctors, older people, and people suffering from chronic diseases will be given priority, a cabinet statement read.
The meeting, chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly, discussed developments on promising vaccines recently announced, in order for Egypt to be able to secure enough doses from the vaccines that would obtain an authorisation from the WHO.
The Coronavirus vaccine developed by American drug maker Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech was discussed during the meeting, days after Pfizer announced that early analysis of its vaccine showed that it is more than 90% effective against the virus.
Attending the meeting, Health Minister Hala Zayed referenced Pfizer’s earlier announcement that tens of thousands of volunteers participated in the vaccine trials in the United States, Argentina, Brazil, and Germany.
Zayed added that concerned companies then announced that volunteers only suffered from mild to moderate side effects.
It is necessary to define the vaccination strategy and accordingly arrange the population groups based on the priority, so that the most vulnerable categories can get the limited amount of vaccines included in the first batch, based on WHO’s guidelines.
Zayed, in a Tuesday statement reported by local media, said the reserved doses of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine will cover up to 20 percent of the country’s needs.
Egypt has also secured doses of a promising British vaccine developed by Oxford University that will meet around 30 percent of the country's needs, the minister said.
In July, Egypt was selected by China to serve as a future African hub for manufacturing its possible Coronavirus vaccines, if Beijing develops one.
Trials of two China-made vaccines are being carried out in Egypt in cooperation with the Chinese government and other companies.