Egypt Independent

Egypt readies to manufacture coronavirus vaccine in cooperation with China



Egypt’s Health Ministry on Saturday announced it has began preparing to manufacture a coronavirus vaccine once proven to be effective in trials, in cooperation with the Chinese government.

Minister of Health Hala Zayed chaired a meeting at the headquarters of the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) to inspect the readiness of the company’s factories and production lines in preparation to begin producing the vaccine.

The meeting was attended by Chairman of the Board of Directors of VACSERA Heba Wali, former Chairman of the Board of Directors of VACSERA Mohamed al-Abadi, and officials from the Health Ministry.

Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed explained that the minister also followed up the efficiency of the company’s infrastructure and factory equipment to determine what is needed and identify any obstacles to be resolved.

Zayed then discussed the number of doses needed to be produced and the vaccine’s production capacity once approved in order to fulfill demand in Egypt and export to African countries, with Egypt becoming the continent’s center of vaccine manufacturing.

Megahed added that the minister also followed the factory’s production lines for the variety of vaccines already being produced in Egypt, and stressed the importance of increasing its production capacity the production lines.

Zayed discussed the possibility of involving foreign companies within VACSERA’s production process, in order to exchange experience to grant Egypt a lead in vaccine production.

The Ministry of Health and Population on Monday said that it has agreed with the Chinese side that Egypt should become Africa’s manufacturing center for the coronavirus vaccine.

The announcement came after a meeting between Zayed and the Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Li Chang.

The meeting discussed Egypt’s participation in conducting experiments as one of the international centers involved in producing coronavirus vaccines in cooperation with China.

Earlier this month Zayed announced that the Ministry of Health reserved 30 million packets of a potential coronavirus vaccine set to be produced by a UK-based pharmaceutical company.

She elaborated in an interview with the “al-Hekaya” program that the company aims to produce up to 400 million packets, with the World Health Organization instructing that at least one or two countries per continent can manufacture this vaccine.

Egypt’s National Research Center is testing four vaccines in pre-clinical trials, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced earlier in July.

Seventeen potential vaccines are now in clinical trials worldwide, and 132 are in the pre-clinical trial stage, the WHO said.

According to the WHO, vaccines currently in clinical trials are being developed by Oxford University, Imperial College London, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

A potential vaccine for the COVID-19 coronavirus will be available in Egypt by September once confirmed effective, Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tageldin announced in June.

He added that it has been confirmed that British-Swedish multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca in Cambridge, through close cooperation with the University of Oxford, has reached the final stages to produce a coronavirus vaccine.

A multinational company with a factory in Egypt is ready to produce the drug, Tageldin told the Extra News satellite channel in a phone call.