A sign of Sinopharm is seen at the 2020 China International Fair for Trade in Services (CIFTIS) in Beijing, China September 5, 2020. REUTERS/Tingshu Wang/File Photo
CAIRO – 13 December 2020: The Chinese-developed Coronavirus vaccine that Egypt has received from the UAE is the same vaccine that more than 3,000 Egyptian volunteers received over the past two months, announced the Egyptian Ministry of Health in a statement on Sunday.
The ministry added that no health complications for those volunteers reported so far, noting that the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm vaccine is safe and effective.
The vaccine was stored in the state-owned pharmaceutical company VACSERA and then will be distributed after completing all various researches, the ministry said, adding that the Sinopharm vaccine has been tried in more than 6 countries, including Egypt, on 45,000 volunteers.
As for manufacturing the vaccine in Egypt’s VACSERA, the ministry said that an agreement between the company the Chinese pharmaceutical company Sinoharm was completed and the legislative approvals were obtained, noting that a group of experts from the World Health Organization has arrived in Egypt.
“We are in the phase of negotiation with the Chinese company to start manufacturing,” the ministry said.
Other batches of the Chinese vaccine will arrive successively until the end of the month, the ministry added, noting that first doses will be provided for medical staff in isolation, chest and fever hospitals nationwide, then for those who suffer from chronic diseases in accordance with the global health instructions.
Egypt has received on Thursday the first shipment of the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm from the UAE, which has officially registered the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. According to the UAE news agency WAM, the vaccine has 86 percent efficacy against COVID-19 infection.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi thanked the United Arab of Emirates (UAE) for sending the shipment of the vaccine, highlighting the distinguished level that governs Egypt's relations with the Gulf states, especially the UAE.
The Chinese vaccine has shown 99 percent efficacy in producing antibodies to the novel virus and 100 percent efficacy in preventing cases from showing moderate or severe symptoms, Egyptian Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.
Chinese Ambassador Liqiang said the Egyptian-Chinese relations have witnessed a big leap over the past years, Egyptian state’s news agency MENA reported.
He said China suffered from a critical phase as a result of the coronavirus, noting that Sisi has sent a message of solidarity to his Chinese counterpart and Zayed paid a visit to China with medical and preventive supplies.
The ambassador asserted that the arrival of the Sinopharm vaccine to Cairo is the best evidence on the strength of such friendly ties between the two countries.