The Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) announced, on Wednesday, that it has authorised the Ministry of Health and Population to use the Sputnik V and AstraZeneca/AZD 1222 vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The EDA said that these steps come as part of the state’s efforts to provide vaccines that prove effective to combat the virus, and ongoing work to provide them to all citizens.
The authority’s move also comes in light of its keenness “to follow all global and local standards approved to preserve the health and life of the Egyptian citizen, and obtain vaccines that are safe, effective and of high quality”.
The EDA added that its authorisation of both vaccines came after they went through the necessary evaluation processes in the departments and laboratories of the Drug Authority.
On Sunday, Egypt announced that it received the first shipment of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University. Frontline health workers will be some of the first to receive the vaccine, alongside the elderly and those with chronic health issues.
The Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) had also approved the emergency use of Covishield, the local name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
EDA Spokesperson Ali Al-Ghamrawi said the authority had approved the emergency use of the vaccine, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.
Last week, the Unified Procurement Authority (UPA) announced it had signed a deal with Russia’s R-Pharma and India’s Serum Institute to purchase 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This forms a part of the total 100 million doses targeted by the Egyptian Government.
The vaccine known as Covishield is made from a weakened version of a common cold virus, known as an adenovirus, which can be found in chimpanzees. It has been modified to look more like the coronavirus, although it cannot cause illness.
When the vaccine is injected into a patient, it prompts the immune system to start making antibodies and primes it to attack any coronavirus infection. The Covishield vaccine requires two doses administered between four and 12 weeks apart.
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