Egypt’s government said the World Health Organization (WHO) supports its efforts to produce the COVID-19 vaccine.
Health Minister Hala Zayed reviewed the virus developments in the country during a cabinet session chaired by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly on Wednesday.
She briefed the ministers on the outcomes of her latest visit to Geneva, during which she met with WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus and CEO of the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance Seth Berkley.
Berkley hailed Cairo’s special efforts to diversify the sources of vaccine provision and its local manufacturing, Zayed noted.
According to health ministry spokesman Khalid Mujahid, Zayed thanked Tedros for supporting the health system in Egypt during the pandemic.
Zayed further reviewed her country’s efforts to manufacture the vaccine locally after contracting with China’s Sinovac company, he added.
The production agreement was signed between Sinovac and Egypt’s Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).
Zayed requested that WHO provides the necessary authorization to approve the locally manufactured vaccine.
Egypt has recorded 609 new coronavirus cases and 37 deaths, taking the tally to 274,404 infections since the beginning of the pandemic, including 202,650 recoveries and 15,691 fatalities.
The health minister also stated that Cairo is expected to receive about 1.9 million AstraZeneca jabs by next week through the COVAX initiative.
She expressed her country’s readiness to cooperate with COVAX and various manufacturers to produce vaccines through Egyptian factories and contribute to accelerating their supply to other countries.
Meanwhile, the health ministry urged citizens to book appointments through the dedicated website to receive the vaccine.
It announced the opening of more COVID-19 vaccination centers, taking the total to 414 throughout the country.