The Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) granted the Sinovac/VACSERA COVID-19 vaccine an emergency use license after passing the required evaluation — the first locally produced vaccine to be greenlit for use in the country, the Egyptian government announced on Monday.
The manufacturing of Sinovac vaccine doses is part of an agreement signed between the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) and the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac.
“This approval comes as part of the Egyptian state and President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi’s directives to provide a safe and effective vaccine to face the coronavirus pandemic,” an EDA’s statement said.
In a press conference on Monday, Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced that the ministry will start distributing the Sinovac/VACSERA vaccine to vaccination centres nationwide starting Tuesday.
According to Zayed, VASCERA has already produced 15 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine and will continue to produce between 15 and 18.5 million doses per month with the aim of covering local and African needs.
She added that the state has increased the number of vaccination centres in Egypt to 657 in the past week, with 145 centres dedicated to putting travelers on the fast track to immunisation and the remaining 512 assigned to non-travellers.
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, Sinovak and Sinopharm vaccines.
According to Zayed, 7.5 million Egyptians have been vaccinated out of the 10 million that have registered for the jabs on the Ministry of Health’s website.