Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed has received the injection for the Chinese-made vaccine candidate. In a bid to display scientific leadership in the region, she volunteered to be among those participating in the clinical trial of the third stage of a potential vaccine.
Zayed, who received the injection on Monday, 28 September, encouraged Egyptians to follow her example and volunteer as participants in the experiments. 100 countries worldwide are taking part in the trial according to the Health Ministry’s statement of Zayed’s participation, among them the UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan.
The vaccine, which is aimed to be tested on 45,000 individuals, has so far, according to Zayed, been tested on 35,000 worldwide. Tests in Egypt are being conducted with the support of the Chinese government and G42, a UAE healthcare company.
The Chinese government has selected Egypt to be one of the production and distribution hubs of the vaccine in Africa, should it succeed. A national committee has been called on to oversee the research around the vaccine trials and the Egyptian holding company VACSERA has already been selected to produce the vaccine in the event of its success.
Egypt, whose tally of overall coronavirus cases has almost reached 103,000, has been registering low numbers of COVID-19 cases – 115 on 28 September – and COVID-19-related deaths – 18 on September 28 – in the past months, and government officials have claimed that deaths caused by the virus will cease to occur.
The Egyptian Health Ministry has created a website that allows those interested in volunteering to participate in the vaccine trial to register to do so. The trials will be held at VACSERA, Abbasiyya Chest Hospital, and the National Liver Institute.
As the worldwide tally of coronavirus cases rising and the daily worldwide registration of new cases shows very few signs of slowing, the race between Russia, China, Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom to produce an effective vaccine is only accelerating.