Egypt said on Thursday that it has received more than 1.7 million doses of the AstraZeneca and 500,000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccines, bringing the country’s supply of various vaccines administered in the overpopulous country to over 5 million.
The health ministry said the additional AstraZeneca doses, received earlier on Thursday at Cairo airport, are of a second batch that came through the COVAX initiative.
Some 40 million doses are to be delivered later under the initiative consecutively.
Egypt first received 854,400 AstraZeneca vaccines as a first batch under the COVAX initiative in April.
The increase in the doses received by Egypt would allow for a wider rollout of vaccines for citizens, the statement said.
Egypt began vaccinating priority groups in March under a wider rollout of the vaccination program, after it began the vaccination of the country’s medical staff in January.
The government is seeking to secure vaccines for its population that surpassed the 100 million as it continues to expand its immunisation program.
Around 2.7 million citizens have registered online to receive the vaccine through the health ministry website, the statement said.
Egypt will also receive this month 1,400 liters of raw material needed to manufacture the Chinese Sinovac vaccine under a signed deal between state-owned vaccine producer Vacsera and the Chinese company to manufacture 2.25 million doses.
Per the deal, Egypt plans to manufacture 40 million doses of the Sinovac vaccine by the end of 2021.
Cairo also plans to manufacture over 40 million doses annually of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine in Cairo.
Egypt’s Minapharm, the regional leader in recombinant DNA, and its Berlin-based subsidiary PrioBioGen AG, and the Russian Direct Investment Fund plan to begin the technology transfer for the immediate manufacturing of the vaccine, with the rollout expected in the third quarter of 2021.