Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced that the country’s first shipment of raw materials to start manufacturing the Sinovac vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) will be received on 18 May.
The minister’s remarks came during a press conference on Sunday at the headquarters of the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).
Also speaking at the press conference were: EDA head Tamer Essam; Mohamed Hassani, Assistant Minister of Health and Population for Public Health Initiatives; Heba Wali, Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Vacsera; and Nevin El-Nahhas, Head of the Central Administration for Technical Support and Director of the Minister’s Technical Office.
Zayed noted that Egypt expects to produce 2 million doses of Sinovac vaccine by the end of June. She affirmed the ability and readiness of VACSERA’s factories to produce vaccines.
After completing the manufacturing, these doses will be subjected to analysis by Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) laboratories to ensure their safety and efficacy. The ministry hopes that Egypt will become a hub for vaccine manufacturing for African countries.
Zayed also stressed that no new strains of the COVID-19 virus have been detected in Egypt so far.
She has also held periodic and successive meetings with VACSERA as it started manufacturing for the vaccine to follow up on the progress of work and overcome any challenges.
Both VACSERA and the Chinese company producing the Sinovac vaccine have collaborated during all stages of clinical research.
Essam stressed Egypt’s ability to keep pace with all research and scientific developments in the field of Coronavirus vaccines, as well as technological efficiency and manufacturing ability.
Moreover, Zayed announced that two agreements were signed with the Chinese side, the first of which will focus on manufacturing the Sinovac vaccine through VACSERA in cooperation with Sinovac.
The second agreement will see the transfer of manufacturing technology. The minister noted that 40 million doses of the vaccine will be produced during the first year after the signing of the manufacturing agreement.