Egypt licenses Sinopharm vaccine for emergency use
Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Saturday the COVID-19 vaccine developed by Chinese drugmaker Sinopharm has been officially licensed for emergency use in Egypt.
"Tomorrow, the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) will send us the official license early in the morning, which it has already issued today," Zayed told a local TV show.
Egypt received the first batch of Sinopharm vaccines on Dec 10. The minister said that the batch went through four tests conducted by the EDA and they all proved the vaccine is safe.
Zayed said Egypt will receive the second shipment of COVID-19 vaccines within days. They are expected to be provided to Egyptians later in the month.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, Egypt and China have been cooperating closely in the fight against the pandemic through medical aid and expertise exchanges.
The vaccine is not the only aspect of medical cooperation between the two countries in fighting the disease. The exchange of medical aid and expertise demonstrated a new dimension of their friendship throughout 2020.
In the beginning of the crisis and in the middle of China's fierce battle against the novel coronavirus, Egypt expressed wholehearted support for its Asian friend. The country donated tons of medical supplies to China in January, 2020, and sent the Egyptian health minister to visit China in March as a sign of solidarity.
While the Egyptian minister was flying to Beijing, Egypt simultaneously lit up three of its famous historical sites, including the ancient temples in Luxor and Aswan, in red and golden stars to resemble the national flag of China.
In response, after it managed to curb the spread of the virus, China returned the favor by sending three batches of medical aid to Egypt, the latest of which was delivered in May.