Egypt agrees with GAVI to secure 20 million doses of candidate coronavirus vaccines

Egypt announced on Wednesday an agreement with the GAVI vaccine alliance to provide the country with 20 million doses of coronavirus vaccines that would get an emergency approval from the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The agreement was revealed during a meeting by the Egyptian Cabinet’s medical committee headed by Prime Minister Moustafa Madbouli.

The ministers attending the meeting discussed developments on promising vaccines recently announced so that Egypt would be able to secure enough doses from the vaccines, which could obtain an WHO authorisation.

The meeting tackled the recent announcement made by U.S. drug maker Pfizer and German biotechnology company BioNTech that their vaccine showed it is more than 90 percent effective against the virus.

Health Minister Hala Zayed said it is necessary to define the vaccination strategy and accordingly arrange the population groups based on the priority, so that the most vulnerable categories can get the limited amount of vaccines included in the first batch, based on WHO’s guidelines.

Earlier, Zayed said in a Tuesday statement that the reserved doses of the Pfizer- BioNTech vaccine will cover up to 20 percent of the country’s needs.

Egypt has also secured doses of a promising British vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University that will meet around 30 percent of the country’s needs, the minister added.

In July, the North African country was selected by China to serve as a future African hub for manufacturing its possible coronavirus vaccines, if Beijing develops one.

Trials of two vaccines developed by China are being carried out in Egypt in cooperation with the Chinese government and other drugmakers.