Egypt’s Minister Health and Population, Hala Zayed, was on Monday 19 October given the second dose of COVID-19 trial vaccine. Dr Zayed was administered the drug at the Cairo headquarters of VACSERA, the Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccine and the oldest manufacturer of vaccines in Africa and the Middle East.
The Minister is among the volunteers for the third phase of the clinical trials on COVID-19 vaccine under the umbrella of the initiative “For the sake of humanity”. She had taken the first dose on 28 September 2020.
“For the sake of humanity” is carried out in cooperation with the Chinese government and the Abu Dhabi-based G42 Healthcare on research studies to come up with COVID-19 vaccines. It targets 45,000 persons all over the world, and is carried out by volunteers from four Arab countries: Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan and Egypt. Participant volunteers receive two doses of vaccine, three weeks in between. They should then be monitored for one year. According to Dr Zayed, production of the vaccine will start in Egypt once it is proved safe and effective.
Dr Zayed thanked all the volunteers, noting that more than 3000 Egyptians are taking part in the third phase of the clinical trials. Once more, she called on Egyptians to participate in these trials which serve humanity in its entirety. She pointed out that some 42,000 people around the world have so far participated in the clinical trials.
The Ministry of Health has set up a website [www.covactrial.mohp.gov] for volunteers to register their personal and health data. They head to a centre where they are received by specialists who advise them about the details of the trials and all the hazards involved. If they agree, they sign a document to that effect.
Participants then undergo thorough medical examinations. Blood samples are taken to check their immune systems, and pcr tests are made to ensure there was no previous infection with COVID-19. After that, the participant may be given the first dose of the vaccine.
According to the Ministry spokesperson Khaled Megahed, the Minister underwent all the procedures that any volunteer in the clinical trials go through. She arrived at VACSERA to receive her second dose, was informed of the steps that she would follow, after which she signed a consent to proceed with her participation in the trials. She was then examined and her vital signs were checked, she was also thoroughly asked about her general condition in order to check whether she had developed any side effects during the 21 days that followed the first dose that she had taken. After her identification code was checked and she underwent the necessary blood tests including pcr, she was injected with the second dose of the vaccine.
According to the Ministry spokesperson, participants in the third phase of the clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccine receive two doses of the vaccine with a 21-day lapse. The medical condition of all volunteers is closely monitored for 12 months after they receive the first dose through field visits and telephone follow up. Any remarks or symptoms are recorded all through the follow-up period.
19 October 2020