CAIRO: Egypt received a shipment of about 50,000 coronavirus vaccines manufactured in India on Sunday as part of efforts to diversify the country’s vaccine sources.
The shipment arrived at Cairo International Airport on Emirates EK 927 from India via Dubai, where authorities finalized procedures for its release.
Presidential adviser Mohammed Awad Tag El-Din announced on Saturday that Egypt would gradually receive coronavirus vaccines from different sources, and referred to the arrival of 50,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
Tag El-Din said that pregnant women will be unable to receive vaccinations as Egypt’s jab stock had been urgently fast-tracked. The country will target healthcare workers, the elderly and those with chronic diseases.
“Pharmaceutical factories have worked to cover our needs of medicine for the coronavirus treatment protocol. We have a strategic reserve of medical devices and equipment,” Tag El-Din said. Egypt’s Health Ministry also announced the launch of a vaccine application website.
Issam Salah, adviser to the minister of health for information technology, said the website was designed to handle requests to receive experimental COVID-19 vaccines, adding that the website has seen “great interaction” with Egyptians. It received more than 10,000 requests in the first hour of its launch.
Pharmaceutical factories have worked to cover our needs of medicine for the coronavirus treatment protocol. We have a strategic reserve of medical devices and equipment.
Mohammed Awad Tag El-Din, Presidential adviser
Salah said that there are three ways to submit an application on the site: Registering online, by phone, or in-person at listed hospitals that will be announced at a later date.
Egyptian citizens will be able to use the website to submit vaccination requests once registrations open in the coming days.
Aly Al-Ghamrawi, spokesperson of the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA), told Egyptian media that the EDA is studying the AstraZeneca vaccine, and once the necessary requirements are met, an approval decision will be filed for its emergency use.
The EDA is also studying Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine for local registration and to make it available for Egyptian citizens along with China’s Sinopharm jab, which has been approved for emergency use.
Mohammed Hassani, assistant to the minister of health for initiatives and a member of the ministry’s Scientific Committee to Combat COVID-19, told media that a new clinical research study is being conducted in Egypt on the Russian vaccine.