​​​​​​​Egypt’s participation in trials of Covid-19 vaccine is important, minding patient rights

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On September 12, the Minister of Health announced the start of clinical trials of Covid-19 vaccines in Egypt. This announcement came three weeks after the Parliament approved the amended version of the Clinical Trials Law, which was introduced in response to the recommendations made by the President in October 2018.

And because monitoring clinical trial procedures in general, and this important experiment in particular, is part of the role of civil society, a member of the EIPR team volunteered and joined this clinical trial. He followed the procedures and was registered among the trial participants after completing and fulfilling the conditions for participation.

EIPR closely follows the steps of the clinical trial, to evaluate it and transmit updates and impressions about all stages of the trial, and will answer the questions of interested researchers, journalists or the public, based on the practical experience from the perspective of an actual participant in it, by dedicating an account on Facebook and Twitter for this. EIPR is interested in following up the clinical trials file, building on the findings of its 2016 report entitled Ethical Questions About Clinical Trials in Egypt, as well as the comments it issued last September, titled “Clinical Trials”, welcome amendments that reflect civil society proposals.

The Ministry had made it clear when it announced the start of these clinical trials that they were being carried out in cooperation with the Chinese government and the UAE G42 Healthcare Company, and were being conducted on vaccines that completed the first and second phase of human trials. The clinical trials target 6,000 research subjects in Egypt, out of 45,000 worldwide within the framework of international clinical trial called “For Humanity.”

These clinical trials are of utmost importance for everyone in light of the continuing Covid-19 pandemic and the fear of the second wave in winter all over the world. Therefore, the participation of Egyptians in it is a positive thing in principle, however, provided that it is carried out in line with the Helsinki Declaration and the guidelines of the Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences. Key among these principles are ensuring the transparency of the trial information, carrying out all steps and requirements for informed consent, and providing participants with health coverage.