Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced, on Tuesday, that her ministry has received 300,000 doses of the Chinese vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The vaccine, called Sinopharm, has been produced by the China National Pharmaceutical Group Co., Ltd, and come as a gift from China.
The vaccine doses arrived in the Cairo International Airport in the presence of Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Li Zhang. Wael Al Saai, Assistant Minister of Health for Financial and Administrative Affairs; Mustafa Ghanima, Assistant Minister of Health for Curative Medicine Affairs; Alaa Eid, Head of the Preventive Medicine Sector; and Mohamed Abdel Fattah, Head of the Central Administration for the Preventive Medicine Sector, were also present.
The Ministry of Health and Population has said that this shipment comes within the framework of strengthening the cooperation between Egypt and China, to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Egypt is the first African country to obtain a coronavirus vaccine and start vaccinating medical teams, according to a ministry statement.
The Sinopharm vaccine has been given approval for use in the country from the emergency department of the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA). According to the Ministry, it has proven 86% effective in preventing the virus, 99% effective in producing antibodies to the virus, and 100% in preventing access to moderate and severe cases.
Shipments will be subjected to analysis by EDA laboratories before completing the vaccination of medical teams and eligible groups. The Ministry of Health and Population website has also been to eligible citizens to register, particularly those with chronic diseases and the elderly. Registrations have been possible during the past few days, through 40 health units nationwide.
According to Zayed, the scientific committee to combat COVID-19 decided to approve the Chinese vaccine because it was manufactured with the same vaccine system for other viruses that have proven effective.
The committee has made the Pfizer and Moderna vaccine a second choice because it was manufactured with new technology. Moreover, the Ministry of Finance has signed contracts to purchase 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca-Oxford University COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to 20 million doses of another vaccine.