Egypt to receive 4.9 million coronavirus vaccine doses in May: health minister

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Wed, 05 May 2021 - 12:36 GMT

Egypt receives a coronavirus vaccine shipment - FILE/Health Ministry

Egypt receives a coronavirus vaccine shipment - FILE/Health Ministry

CAIRO – 5 May 2021: Egypt will receive a total of 4.9 million coronavirus vaccine doses this month, Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Wednesday, amid Egypt’s suffering from a surge in coronavirus cases.

Zayed said 1.7 million coronavirus doses will arrive in Egypt in the coming week and 1.7 million doses will arrive by the end of May through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX).

Also, one million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine are set to arrive this month in addition to 500,000 doses of the Chinese Sinovac through this week.

As Egypt is preparing to locally produce the Sinovac vaccine, Zayed said Egypt will soon receive 1,400 liters of the raw material needed to manufacture 2 million vaccine doses.

In April, Egypt’s drug authority said it had approved Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac’s coronavirus vaccine for emergency use.

Over the past few months, Egypt has reiterated its plans to locally produce the Sinovac vaccine to cover local and African needs.

Egypt’s Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) and Sinovac last month signed two agreements to manufacture the vaccine.

VACSERA will manufacture the final product using the ready-made product provided by Sinovac.

The first agreement is related to the transfer of technology required to manufacture the vaccine doses, a Cabinet statement read. Under the agreement, Sinovac will grant VACSERA a limited license to use the manufacturing technology.

VACSERA will manufacture the vaccine inside the company’s production facilities.

The second agreement stipulates that Sinovac secures for Egypt all technical information related to the company’s vaccine and provides technical assistance.

Technical assistance will include examining VACSERA’s factories and testing the final product and means of manufacturing.

In her press conference last week, Zayed noted that Chinese experts will soon arrive in Egypt, adding that Egypt will produce from 40 to 60 million Sinovac doses in the first year, including 5 million in the first two months.

The number of centers providing the coronavirus vaccine across Egypt has increased to 360, head of the central administration for preventive affairs at Egypt's Ministry of Health Mohamed Abdel Fattah told Egypt Today.

This includes a center in the Fair Zone, which will be soon inaugurated. This center is designed to have the capacity to vaccinate 10,000 people per day, Abdel Fattah said.

Egypt has started its vaccination campaign in January and is working on expanding vaccination, especially as the country is currently suffering from a third coronavirus wave.

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