Moroccan-Chinese cooperation on inactivated COVID 19 vaccine

Mr. Nasser Bourita and Mr. Wang Yi . (Photo / MAP)


by Hanane Thamik

The State Councilor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi spoke by telephone with the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita on August 18, 2020.

Mr. Nasser Bourita and Mr. Wang Yi . (Photo / MAP)

Mr. Bourita said that His Majesty King Mohammed VI and the Moroccan government are deeply grateful for China’s support and assistance to Morocco at the most critical time of Covid-19.

“The Chinese experience in the fight against COVID-19 is an important reference for Morocco. We have full confidence in Chinese technology in terms of vaccines and hope that the two parties will sign a cooperation agreement as soon as possible,” said the Moroccan Foreign Minister. “Whether at the United Nations or on other occasions, Morocco firmly supports China in safeguarding its sovereignty and territorial integrity. This position is clear and unequivocal. Morocco supports China in promoting cooperation in the field of health within the framework of the Belt and Road, and hopes that the Moroccan-Chinese friendship will be further deepened to better benefit the peoples of the two countries”.

Mr. Wang noted that, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping and his Majesty King Mohammed VI, the China-Morocco strategic partnership had withstood the test of Covid-19 and developed further. “China cares deeply about its friendship with Morocco and is willing to constantly deepen strategic cooperation and strengthen mutual understanding and support with the Moroccan side,” Mr. Wang said that “China will continue to assist in Morocco’s efforts to combat Covid-19 and resume activities, and will continue to support Morocco’s legitimate positions on the international scene as well as on the regional scene”.

Mr. Wang said that once the Chinese vaccine against Covid-19 is developed and put into use, it will be a global public good and African countries will be among the first to benefit from it. “China supports close communication and cooperation between Morocco and relevant companies to reach consensus on research and development as well as the use of the vaccine”.

The Kingdom of Morocco and Sinopharm CNBG signed a new crown vaccine cooperation agreement

On the afternoon of August 20, the signing ceremony of the Kingdom of Morocco and Sinopharm CNBG new coronavirus vaccine cooperation was held simultaneously in Beijing and Rabat by video conference. This is another important progress after obtaining clinical trial approvals from the UAE and Peru and marks the overall acceleration of Sinopharm International’s clinical trials. The two sides will overcome the epidemic through unity and cooperation, and make unremitting efforts to jointly build a human health community.

After the outbreak of the new crown epidemic, Morocco and Sinopharm communicated closely, negotiated many times, and reached the “New Coronavirus Inactivated Vaccine Clinical Cooperation Agreement” and the “New Coronavirus Inactivated Vaccine Cooperation Agreement”, and obtained the Moroccan government’s clinical trial license.

Sinopharm Chairman Liu Jingzhen said in his speech that in the face of the new crown epidemic, Sinopharm has played the role of the central enterprise national team and the main force to achieve eight global leaders in the “diagnosable, treatable, and preventable” aspects of new coronary pneumonia, especially It leads the world in terms of new crown vaccine research and development, clinical trials, and production preparations. The signing of this cooperation agreement will further enhance mutual trust, consolidate friendship, better benefit the two peoples, and inject new impetus into the global fight against the new crown epidemic.

The Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Morocco, Nasser Bourita, said in his speech that the friendship between Morocco and China has a long history and the two sides continue to enhance communication and cooperation. In Morocco’s view, cooperation with China is precious, efficient, and inclusive. Today’s cooperation signing is a milestone. The clinical trial cooperation around the new crown vaccine is unprecedented for Morocco. “Seeing the truth in adversity” hopes to further strengthen cooperation with Sinopharm Group to jointly fight against the new crown epidemic, and the friendship between the two countries can also reach a new level.

The Minister of Health of the Kingdom of Morocco Khalid Ait Taleb said that since the outbreak of the epidemic, China has provided support in many aspects. The only solution to contain the new crown epidemic is a vaccine. The cooperation consensus with Sinopharm Group on vaccines is very correct.

The signing ceremony of a cooperation agreement on inactivated COVID-19 vaccine between the KINGDOM OF MOROCCO and SINOPHARM CNBG. (Photo / CNBG)

Wu Yonglin, President of China Biotechnology, presided over the ceremony. Mr. Aziz Mekouar, Moroccan ambassador to China, Othman Benjelloun, Chairman and CEO of the Bank of Africa, Lamia Tazi, Chairman and CEO of Sothema, Reda Oudghiri Idrissi, Economic Counselor of the Embassy of Morocco in China, and the Charge D’affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Morocco Mao Jun attended the ceremony.

Clinical research is usually divided into three phases. The first phase mainly evaluates safety. Phase II mainly evaluates the safety and immunogenicity of the vaccine, while exploring the immunization program. Phase III mainly evaluates the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in a larger population.

On April 12, the new crown inactivated vaccine developed by the Wuhan Institute of Biological Products of China Biologics entered the first phase I/II clinical trial in the world. On April 27, the new crown inactivated vaccine developed by the Beijing Institute of Biological Products of China Biotechnology also entered Phase I/II clinical trials. A total of 2240 people were enrolled in Phase I/II clinical studies of the two vaccines. The results showed that the vaccine was safe, and there was no obvious adverse reaction; different ages, different procedures, and different doses. After vaccination, high-titer immune responses were produced. The safety and effectiveness of the two new inactivated vaccines lead the world.

While fully advancing the research and development of vaccines, Sinopharm Group China Biosciences is actively playing the role of the main body of the enterprise, building high-level bio-safety production facilities in two biological products research institutes in Beijing and Wuhan. The combined production capacity of the two workshops reached 220 million doses.

My opinion

Since the establishment of the strategic partnership between Morocco and China in 2016, bilateral cooperation in various fields has been developing at an accelerated pace with remarkable results and constant highlights.

Morocco and China have strengthened relations through joint efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. In parallel, their multilayered cooperation in public health, culture, and other fields have deepened under the Belt and Road framework.

The Moroccan approach to China at this epidemic stage can be described as a good and smart choice because our country knows very well that China has used specific strategies that have been especially helpful in the control of infectious diseases. China’s experience can provide a model relevant to other countries like Morocco.

Morocco-China ties have been tested by the epidemic, the mutual trust has been consolidated and cooperation has been deepened.