EGYPT – Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Egyptian counterpart Sameh Shoukry commemorated a ceremony marking the joint production of 1 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine in Egypt.
After China and Egypt inked a letter of intent for cooperation on COVID-19 vaccine production in December 2020, a Chinese company signed an agreement with an Egyptian firm and sent technical teams to Egypt to facilitate the local production of the vaccine.
Only half a year after the signing of the agreement, the Chinese vaccine was officially put into production in Egypt and reached the output of 1 million doses in a short time.
As the first batch of vaccines rolled off the production line, Egypt became the first country on the African continent to cooperate with China in the COVID-19 vaccine production.
This project is not only of great significance to Egypt’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic, but also will greatly help Africa and the Arab region prevail over the pandemic at an early date.
Egypt is also in agreement with Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) to produce COVID-19 vaccines.
Last week, the Africa Union Commission in collaboration with The Africa CDC remarked the progress made under The Partnerships for African Vaccine Manufacturing (PAVM) to produce vaccines locally.
Since inception of PAVM, several countries, including Egypt have made remarkable progress toward localized vaccine production.
Senegal, the European Union, the United States, several European governments, and partners, signed an accord to finance vaccine production at the Institut Pasteur of Dakar. Equally, Morocco signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Swedish company Recipharm to establish and scale-up COVID-19 vaccine manufacturing capacity in the country.
Algeria also announced production of the Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine in partnership with Russia, and part of the production is intended for African countries.
Meanwhile the World Bank and three governments are investing in a South African vaccine manufacturer in an effort to boost production of COVID-19 vaccines on the African continent.
The €600 million funding package for Aspen Pharmacare, which is Africa’s largest pharmaceutical company and is based in Durban, comes from the International Finance Corp.
The fund includes money for the entire vaccine supply chain. Aspen aims to produce more than 500 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine by the end of 2022.
The World Bank also said that it will increase its funding aimed at supporting the global vaccine rollout from US$12 billion to US$20 billion.