CAIRO, Dec. 31 (Xinhua) -- China and Egypt signed on Thursday a letter of intent for mutual cooperation on COVID-19 vaccines.
Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang signed the letter, on behalf of the National Health Commission of China, with Mohamed Hassani, Egyptian assistant minister of health for public health initiatives, said the Chinese embassy in Cairo in a statement.
The signing ceremony was also attended by Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed, the statement said.
Liao said that the signing of the letter will strongly promote the cooperation on research, development, production and use of coronavirus vaccines between the two countries' relevant institutions.
China and Egypt have helped each other amid the menacing pandemic, the ambassador said, adding that the signing of the letter of intent is the embodiment of the joint efforts by China and Egypt to build a health community.
He stressed that people of all countries have the right to obtain vaccines and medicines, pointing out that the Chinese government attaches great importance to the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine.
"Chinese vaccines are undergoing phase III clinical trials in many countries, and they are progressing smoothly. China has approved the emergency use of the vaccines in the country, and there have been no serious adverse reactions," Liao said.
The ambassador emphasized that China has made a firm commitment that it will serve the vaccines as a global public product and supply them to the world at a fair and reasonable price, contributing to the realization of the availability and affordability of the vaccines in developing countries.
For her part, the Egyptian health minister said that the Egypt-China relations are particularly friendly, and cooperation in the health field has been further expanded.
"China has given full play to the joint efforts of the government and enterprises to firmly support and assist Egypt during the fight against the epidemic, and Egypt highly appreciates that," Zayed said.
"As a country with a large population in the region, Egypt has a very sincere desire to carry out anti-epidemic cooperation with China, including vaccines," she said, noting that Egypt looks forward to China's continued support.
On Dec. 10, Egypt received the first batch of a Chinese coronavirus vaccine to help fight the COVID-19 epidemic.
The batch of the vaccine, developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group, or Sinopharm, came from the United Arab Emirates.