CAIRO: Egypt has received 4 million doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Britain.
The shipment of inoculations is part of the COVAX initiative, in cooperation with GAVI, the vaccine alliance.
Acting Minister of Health Khaled Abdel Ghaffar thanked Britain on Saturday for supporting Egypt with the shipment, which demonstrated the strong relations between the two countries.
Hossam Abdel Ghaffar, the official spokesman for the Ministry of Health and Population, said that the vaccine delivery will be subject to the necessary analyses and checks in the laboratories of the Egyptian Medicines Authority before being distributed to vaccination centers.
He added that the AstraZeneca vaccine has emergency use approval from the World Health Organization and the Egyptian Medicines Authority, and that it consists of two doses taken 28 days apart.
Abdel Ghaffar added that Egypt was able to rapidly provide all of the vaccines approved by the WHO — such as the Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines — as part of the state’s plan for diversification and expansion in providing vaccines against COVID-19.
The British Ambassador to Egypt Gareth Bayley tweeted: “4m vaccine doses arriving at Cairo International Airport last night — donated by the UK through COVAX. One of the UK’s largest bilateral vaccine donations across the world. We’re not safe until we’re all safe.”
Bayley added: “The United Kingdom is committed to ensuring a fair and equitable distribution of vaccines for all, and we will continue to support Egypt to tackle this epidemic, and for our two countries to prosper and grow together, people must be able to meet together and travel, without fear of Coronavirus.”
He emphasized that vaccination is vital for recovery from the pandemic, which is why Britain is removing any entry restrictions for those who have been fully vaccinated from Feb. 11, adding: “Let our partnership grow in strength.”
Naima El Kassir, the WHO’s representative in Egypt, said: “The World Health Organization in Egypt welcomes the contribution from the UK government of AstraZeneca vaccine doses for Egypt, which will help speed up vaccination for everyone living in Egypt.”