African nations seeking Egypt’s locally made vaccine, firm says

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Egypt is readying to export locally made Covid-19 vaccines to African nations, looking to position itself as a hub for inoculations on the continent grappling with the virus.

Egyptian authorities are expected to discuss potential export plans with a Chinese delegation at the end of February, Heba Wali, president of the state-run Holding Company for Biological Products & Vaccines, or Vacsera, said Sunday in an interview in Cairo.

The move comes as a government official said a batch of locally made Sinovac vaccines had been sent to the Palestinian Territories, in the first overseas shipment.

Negotiations are also under way to provide neighbouring Libya with the Sinovac vaccine, according to Wali. She said other African countries had requested shipments, without identifying them, saying distribution could be via the Covax alliance or direct payments, depending on circumstances.

The Arab world’s most populous nation is positioning itself as a hub for Covid-19 vaccine exports, with Vacsera producing Sinovac using materials from China. The World Health Organization said Feb. 18 that Egypt was one of six African countries that will be given technology to produce mRNA vaccines.

Egypt has so far manufactured 27 million to 30 million Sinovac doses and has capacity to create a total 100 million in 2022, Acting Health Minister Khalid Abdul Ghaffar said Sunday. It recently sent 500 000 Sinovac doses to the Palestinians, he said.

Talks are continuing with AstraZeneca Plc on the possibility of producing its vaccine in Egypt, Wali said. Source: Bloomberg