A woman receives a dose of a vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Cairo, Egypt March 4, 2021. REUTERS
The booster shots will be made available to patients who suffer from immunodeficiency, patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, the elderly, and healthcare workers, provided that they took their first shot at least six months ago.
Minister Abdel-Ghaffar said that the booster shots will be made available in light of studies confirming their efficacy.
The statement did not say when the shots would be available to the public, but health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar has said it should be within days.
Egypt launched a mass vaccination drive in January, setting up over 1,000 inoculation centres nationwide and dozens of mobile clinics with the aim of vaccinating 40 million of its population by the end of 2021.
The vaccination programme has so far administrated some 44.2 million shots, Minister Abdel-Ghaffar told a cabinet meeting today.
Egypt has secured a total of 80.5 million doses of all WHO-approved coronavirus vaccines, including both imported vaccines and locally manufactured shots, Abdel-Ghaffar said.
Egypt is currently administering seven vaccines types: Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.
The country is locally producing the Sinovac vaccine after receiving shipments of its raw materials under a deal with the Beijing-based Sinovac Company.
Egypt is currently experiencing a fourth wave of the virus, which started in early August, but the past few days have seen a slight drop in daily infections.
Egypt has so far recorded a total of 352,123 coronavirus infections, including 20,052 deaths and 292,655 recoveries.