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Thursday, 8 April 2021

Eva Pharma, Pharco to manufacture Sinovac in Egypt

Pharco's BioGeneric Pharma and Eva Pharma will manufacture China’s Sinovac vaccine alongside state-owned vaccine maker Vacsera, Souq Al Dawaa reported. The companies will locally manufacture 20-60 mn doses a year — enough to fully vaccinate between 10 and 30 mn people — after an agreement was reached with the Chinese firm this week. While it's not still known when the manufacturing will start, health ministry officials recently said it should be “within a few months.”

The Health Ministry reported 783 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 778 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 207,293 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 37 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 12,290.

Are Gavi / Covax deliveries of AstraZeneca getting back on track? The Serum Institute of India will resume exports of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine in June if covid-19 cases in India decline “without compromising the needs of our country,” said Adar Poonawalla, chief executive of Serum Institute told the Financial Times. The world’s largest vaccine manufacturer had in March stopped exporting jabs to prioritize local demand, which had threatened to delay developing countries' access to vaccines through the Covax program. This includes Egypt which has signed on to receive 5 mn doses through the program so far.

Astrazeneca is still under fire: European and British regulators have officially linked the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to a rare brain blood clotting disorder and are advising that people of certain don’t take the shot. The UK will now offer people under 30 years’ old alternative vaccines while the EU is yet to agree on a common course of action. Spain outright banned the use of the vaccine for under-60s while Italy is only recommending that people under that age avoid it.

Are women at greater risk? The European study found that instances of blood clotting were 20 times higher in women aged under 60, Christian Bogdan, a member of Germany’s vaccine committee, told Reuters.

But both regulators still recommend the vaccine. A British government advisory group said that this is “out of the utmost caution, rather than because we have any serious safety concerns,” while EMA’s executive director Emer Cooke noted, “The risk of mortality from covid is much greater than the risk of mortality from these rare side-effects.”

How big are the risks in absolute terms? The EMA found a total of 222 cases of two different types of clots — in a total population of about 34 mn people who received the vaccine in the EU. That’s a rate of 0.0006342857143%. Your chances of being hit by lightning in Europe? 0.0002%.

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