CAIRO – Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Sunday that Egypt will start locally producing China’s Sinovac COVID-19 vaccine in June.
During a press conference in Cairo, the minister said that the first 2 million doses will be produced in June at the plants of the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).
“We will receive the first shipment of the raw materials needed to manufacture the vaccine on May 18,” Zayed told reporters, adding that 40 million doses will be produced in the first year.
Zayed noted that two agreements were signed between Sinovac and the VACSERA in April, with the first one enabling the Egyptian side to obtain the expertise and technical assistance to produce the vaccine, while the second giving the VACSERA the license to manufacture and pack the vaccine in its factories.
The Sinovac vaccine to be produced in Egypt will be dubbed Sinovac-Vacsera, the minister revealed.
Egypt started in late January vaccinating the medical staff of governmental hospitals with a COVID-19 vaccine made by another leading Chinese drugmaker, Sinopharm, the first-approved vaccine by the Egyptian Drug Authority.
In early March, the most populous Arab country began vaccinating the elderly people and patients with chronic diseases against the highly infectious coronavirus.