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Egypt Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Egypt Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution

Sunday, 7 March, 2021 - 08:00
A nurse taking an elderly’s temperature before vaccinating him in Cairo. EPA file photo

Egypt has been expanding the distribution of vaccines for the COVID-19 disease, as well as working on more than one locally manufactured vaccine, official sources said.

The Egyptian state is securing the largest amount of vaccine doses from all factories and companies approved by the Egyptian Drug Authority, Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouly has earlier stated.

Head of the Parliament’s Health Affairs Committee MP Ashraf Hatem noted that Egypt will soon receive vaccines from Chine and Britain to expand the inoculation campaign.

Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel Ghaffar affirmed that the research team responsible for producing the Egyptian coronavirus vaccine has published the results of initial trials in a major scientific journal.

“Within a few weeks, clinical trials for the vaccine will start,” Abdel Ghaffar said in televised statements on Friday, adding that within a month, 300 volunteers will be enrolled in the vaccine trials.

The three stages of the vaccine trial process will end in six months, he noted.

By the end of 2021, an Egyptian COVID-19 vaccine would be available, the senior official said, pointing out that research institutions and universities are working on more than one vaccine.

According to Presidential Adviser for Health Affairs Mohamed Awad Tageldin, Egypt received 50,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) in December 2020, followed by 300,000 doses in February.

He highlighted the distinguished relations between President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi and his Chinese counterpart, adding that more jabs will arrive soon.

Tageldin pointed out that new vaccines manufactured in Russia and by Johnson & Johnson will be approved for emergency use in Egypt.

All Egyptian citizens will be vaccinated, except those under 18 and pregnant women, he stressed, noting that the country has begun vaccinating the most vulnerable groups.

In late January, health authorities launched the vaccination campaign, which included medical staff and healthcare workers.

A few days ago, they began vaccinating the elderly and those suffering from chronic diseases.

On Friday, the Health Ministry announced 579 new COVID-19 cases, raising the infection tally to 185,334, including 143,143 recoveries.

It also announced 45 new fatalities, which increased the death toll to 10,916.

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