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Egypt signs deal to receive Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine

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FILE PHOTO: Small bottles labeled with a "Vaccine COVID-19" sticker and a medical syringe are seen in this illustration taken taken April 10, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

CAIRO – 22 June 2020: The Egyptian Drug Authority announced signing a deal with AstraZeneca to supply the country with the Oxford University’s vaccine for COVID-19 without disclosing the number of doses or the delivery date.

Ahmed Salman, the only Egyptian researcher in the team working on the vaccine at Oxford University, said in a phone-in with TV anchor Amr Adib on June 13 that the vaccine is being experimented on a larger number of humans.

Salman explained that the vaccine consists of a version of coronavirus that infects chimpanzees. The virus ability to reproduce is disabled before injected into humans so as the body becomes ready to destroy COVID-19 when infected.

Health and Protective Affairs Consultant to the President Mohamed Awad Tag el-Din stated in a phone-in earlier in June that Egypt was expected to receive a share of the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Oxford University.

Tag el-Dine pointed out that the mission of the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunizations (GAVI) is improving states’ access to vaccines in a fair and balanced way. That is why President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi took part earlier in the International Summit on Vaccines and Life Saving Drugs hosted by the United Kingdom via video-conference.

The consultant highlighted that the company producing the vaccine developed by Oxford University has granted India the right to produce two billion doses. He added that clinical trials of other vaccines are underway in China, India, and other countries.

After trial on 50 Egyptian COVID-19 patients since April, Egypt is set to receive more doses of Avigan that accelerates recovery and exerts efforts to get a share of the vaccine developed by Oxford University.

The Egyptian Embassy in Tokyo signed earlier a diplomatic memorandum providing that Japan grants Egypt free-of-charge doses of the antiviral medication, Avigan.

Ambassador Ayman Kamel stated that the supply of the experimental drug will be accomplished through the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS).

The deal takes place in light of the pioneering Egyptian capabilities in the realm of scientific research in the Middle East and Africa, and within the framework of cooperation between Egypt’s Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research and Japanese institutions.

Japan plans to provide Avigan for free to 20 countries hoping to use it to treat COVID-19 patients and will provide the United Nations Office for Project Services with a $1 million grant to buy and distribute the drug, according to Japan’s national daily The Mainichi.

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