Egypt’s Health Ministry announced that it has started to prepare for the manufacturing of a COVID-19 vaccine in cooperation with the Chinese government once the vaccine is proved effective in trials, local media Egypt Independent reported Saturday.
Egypt aims to become the African continent’s center of coronavirus vaccine manufacturing. The Ministry of Health and Population said it has discussed with China about that, after a meeting between health minister Hala Zayed and the Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Li Chang last Monday.
The meeting discussed Egypt’s participation in conducting experiments as one of the international centers involved in producing coronavirus vaccines in cooperation with China.
On Saturday, Zayed chaired a meeting at the headquarters of the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA), an Egypt vaccine manufacturer, to inspect the readiness of the company’s factories and production lines to begin producing the vaccine.
Health Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed said that the minister also checked the efficiency of the company’s infrastructure and factory equipment to determine what is needed and identify any obstacles to be resolved.
Health officials also discussed the number of doses needed to be produced and the production capacity once approved in order to fulfill the demand in Egypt and export to other African countries.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has instructed that at least one or two countries per continent can manufacture COVID-19 vaccine.
According to the WHO, 17 potential vaccines are now in clinical trials worldwide, and 132 are in the pre-clinical trial stage. Those currently in clinical trials are being developed by Oxford University, Imperial College London, and the Wuhan Institute of Virology.