CAIRO — Egypt received the first batch of Chinese anti-coronavirus vaccine late on Thursday to help fight against the COVID-19 epidemic.
“It’s a historic day to receive the first air shipments of the Chinese anti-coronavirus vaccine,” said Egyptian Minister of Health Hala Zayed in a press conference held at Cairo International Airport.
“The new Chinese vaccine will be available for citizens for free upon directives of the political leadership,” she added.
The priority of distributing the vaccine would be given to the medical staff in isolation hospitals, people with chronic diseases like cancer and kidney failure, and the elderly, Zayed noted.
According to the official, the batch of the vaccine, developed by China’s state-owned Sinopharm pharmaceutical firm, came from the United Arab Emirates. On December 9, the UAE announced the official registration of a COVID-19 vaccine developed by the China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm.
The UAE’s Ministry of Health and Prevention said in a statement that the interim analysis of the phase III trials shows the Chinese vaccine provides 86 percent efficacy against COVID-19 infection.
According to the statement, the analysis also shows the vaccine to have 99 percent seroconversion rate of neutralizing antibody and 100 percent effectiveness in preventing moderate and severe cases of the disease. Furthermore, the analysis shows no serious safety concerns.
Emirati Charge d’affaires to Egypt Mariam Al-Kaabi said that the positive thing of the pandemic is to bring solidarity and coordination among the nations especially the people of the three countries. She added that the ties between the UAE and Egypt represent “a model of solidarity for the Arab countries cooperation.”
Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang hailed that the ties between Egypt and China have been advanced a lot under the leadership of the two countries especially this year after the spread of COVID-19.
“Today the arrival of the vaccine is evidence of the deep ties, solidarity and cooperation between China and the Arab countries, ” Liao said, saying that China is in full readiness and very keen to continue enhancing the solidarity with the Arab countries for fighting the virus and overcome its crisis.