CAIRO: Egyptian Health Minister Dr. Hala Zayed has announced the arrival of the first shipments of the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) vaccine against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
The Ministry of Health stated that 261,600 doses of the J&J vaccine were received at Cairo International Airport, in cooperation with the African Union.
The receipt of the vaccine shipments comes within the ministry’s plan to diversify and expand the provision of anti-COVID-19 vaccines. The ministry has confirmed it will continue to receive other shipments of the vaccine during the coming period.
Ministry Spokesman Dr. Khaled Megahed stressed the importance of cooperating with international organizations to address the pandemic and provide vaccines to citizens.
Monday’s doses will be distributed to the 126 centers designated to vaccinate people wanting to travel abroad, he said.
The shipment will be subject to analysis in the laboratories of the Egyptian Drug Authority.
The J&J vaccine has proven effective in preventing COVID-19 infection and is a single-dose vaccine that does not require boosters, the spokesman said, adding that Egypt will receive 2.5 million doses of the Pfizer and AstraZeneca vaccines within days, followed by 1.7 million doses from the Covax Alliance.
Megahed stressed the need to obtain two doses of the same vaccine even if the date of the second dose is delayed.
On Aug. 14, a large number of Sinovac vaccines manufactured in Egypt will also be released to the local market and will be distributed to vaccine centers in the country.
Egypt has reported 284,641 infections and 16,566 COVID-19-related deaths since the pandemic began.
The government said in June its aim was to vaccinate 40 percent of the population of more than 100 million against COVID-19 by the end of this year.