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Sunday, 23 May 2021

500k Sinopharm doses + raw materials to manufacture Sinovac land in Egypt

State-owned Vacsera can now begin manufacturing China’s Sinovac vaccine after the first batch of raw materials used to produce the jab arrived in Egypt on Friday, Health Minister Hala Zayed said in a statement. The shipment is enough to produce 2 mn doses of the jab, which Vacsera aims to begin administering within two months. Egypt also hopes to begin manufacturing the vaccine’s raw materials locally in the coming period, and will export any excess vaccine supplies to African countries once local needs are met, the minister said. Egypt has already established a production line for the vaccine through Vacsera, with a second manufacturing facility set for completion “soon” in Sixth of October City. Expect as many as 40 mn doses of the locally-made Sinovac vaccine to be produced during the coming period, Zayed said, without disclosing a specific timeline.

VACCINE SUPPLY UPDATE- Egypt received on Friday another 500k-shot shipment of Sinopharm, China’s other covid-19 vaccine, the Health Ministry said. Egypt has so far received 3 mn doses of a 20 mn dose agreement, Zayed said. A new 1.9 mn-jab batch of Oxford / AstraZeneca vaccines is also expected to be delivered through the Gavi / Covax program during the first week of June, while a shipment of 1 mn doses of China's Sinovac vaccine will arrive by the end of May or during the first week of June.

The Health Ministry reported 1,151 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 1,148 the day before. The ministry also reported 59 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 14,670. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 252,690 confirmed cases of covid-19.

The Health Ministry will be able to add 1k ICU beds and 500 ventilators to its emergency covid-19 response arsenal thanks to an additional EGP 260 bn from state coffers for the current fiscal year, according to a Planning Ministry statement.

Pfizer and BioNTech have pledged to deliver 2 bn doses of their jab through Covax as calls for equitable vaccine distribution increase, Reuters reports. Vaccine batches will be provided “through bilateral agreements, agreements with supranational organizations, as well as our partnership with Covax,” a Pfizer spokesman said at the G20 Global Health Summit in Rome Friday.

Covax will also acquire 200 mn shots of Johnson & Johnson’s jab to be sent out to dozens of low- and middle-income nations under an agreement signed between the two on Friday, according to a statement. Johnson & Johnson is already sending Egypt 20 mn doses of its single-shot jab, head of the Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement Bahaa El Din Zidan said last week. These doses would be separate from the shots we could be receiving through Covax and from the 4 mn doses that are said to be delivered in 4Q2021, which will likely be received through the African Union.

The IMF’s USD 50 bn plan to end the pandemic: A multi-bn USD plan unveiled by the IMF on Friday aims to fully vaccinate the world’s population by the first half of 2022. The Fund thinks it is possible to fully inoculate at least 40% of the world’s population by the end of 2021, and the remaining 60% in the front half of 2022. A rapid end to the pandemic could add USD 9 tn to the global economy by the middle of the decade, the IMF estimates.

Breakdown: The USD 50 bn is a combination of at least USD 35 bn of grants, USD 15 bn from national governments and low-cost lending from multilateral lenders, the IMF said. Rich nations are being asked to contribute most to this effort, but would see the bulk of the benefits, chief Kristalina Georgieva said as she presented the plan to world leaders at the G20 Summit, Reuters reports.

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