Egypt receives new stock of the AstraZeneca vaccine

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Khaled Mujahid, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health, said that 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine had arrived in Egypt.

According to Mujahid’s statements, a delegation from the World Health Organisation visited Egypt and praised the Chinese vaccine production lines, Sinovac, and the completion of the transfer of manufacturing technology in Egypt.

He added that Egypt would produce 40 million doses of the vaccine during the first year of signing the manufacturing agreement with Sinovac. It is expected that two million doses will be manufactured by the end of June. He stressed that Egypt contracted many different vaccines, and it was contracted to supply 10 million doses of the Russian Sputnik vaccine. He indicated that the first batch is expected to arrive in May. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is expected to be available during the last quarter of this year, he said.

Last month, the Egyptian Ministry of Health stated that it was preparing to produce 80 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine produced by the Chinese company Sinovac. Egypt has only received about 1.5 million doses of the Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines against coronavirus, following official and popular complaints about the slow procedures for granting vaccines.

The Egyptian contract to buy the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine comes despite China’s recognition last April of the weakness of some of its vaccines against the coronavirus. The top disease control official in Beijing said that the efficacy of Chinese vaccines is low, and the government is considering mixing them to enhance their potency. The Chinese Centre for Disease Control, Director Zhao Fu, announced at a conference in Chengdu, southwest China, that Chinese vaccines do not have very high protection rates.

Researchers in Brazil concluded that the efficacy rate of the Chinese Sinovac vaccine in preventing infections with symptoms was as low as 50.4 per cent. In comparison, the effacacy rate of the Pfizer vaccine was 97 per cent.