CAIRO: Egyptian Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced that 546,400 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine have been received from the French government.
The minister explained that the doses are part of the COVAX agreement, in cooperation with Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF, within the framework of the state’s plan to diversify and expand the provision of vaccines to citizens.
Dr. Khaled Mujahid, assistant minister of health and population and the official spokesman for the ministry, said that this shipment was received in two batches, one of which arrived last Friday and the other yesterday at Cairo International Airport. He stressed that the Egyptian state was sparing no effort in providing free vaccines to citizens.
Mujahid explained that the shipment would be subject to analysis in the laboratories of the Egyptian Drug Authority and that the AstraZeneca vaccine would be distributed to the 781 vaccination centers throughout the governorates of the country.
He said that the AstraZeneca vaccine has proven to be effective in preventing infection with coronavirus virus disease (COVID-19) and explained that it is to be taken in two doses 28 days apart.
Mujahid said that centers designated to vaccinate people who wish to travel are equipped with all the requirements for data registration and the issuance of documented vaccine certificates with QR codes.
In recent days, Egypt has witnessed a noticeable increase in the number of people infected with the virus, as part of what officials consider the fourth wave. The Ministry of Health recorded on Monday 653 new cases and 19 deaths.
Mujahid stated that the total number of registered infected people in Egypt is 296,929, with 16,970 deaths.
Zayed announced in previous statements that Egypt has manufactured 5 million vaccine doses within the country and has so far vaccinated 13 million people.
She added that the ministry aims to vaccinate from 7 to 8 million citizens per month and hopes to have 40 million people vaccinated by December.
An additional production line is being prepared at a factory in Giza with production starting Nov. 1. The production capacity will be 300,000 doses per day.
Egypt owns two vaccine manufacturing factories, with one focusing on national needs and the other on production and distribution to Africa and the Eastern Mediterranean.