were vaccinated in the first phase of the vaccination campaign
Although the epidemiological status of the coronavirus in Egypt is stable, the Ministry of Health and Population is intensifying its campaign against the virus. It is targeting all citizens above the age of 12 to get vaccinated,getting either the first two shots or boosters.
The second phase of the ministry’s campaign which started this month and will last for one month targets the governorates of Sharqiya, Daqahliya, Kafr Al-Sheikh, Damietta, and Aswan. According to Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, the ministry’sspokesman, the campaign aims at reaching the publicat home. “The mission is being accomplished via highly equipped and well-trained teams with the highest level of efficiency to vaccinate citizens and register them in the electronic system for vaccination against Covid-19,” Abdel-Ghaffar said.
He noted that the campaign was in accordance with President Abdel-Fattah Al-Sisi’s directives to increase Covid-19 vaccination coverage all over the country. “The current version of the Covid-19 vaccine is safe and effective againstall the new strains and its different mutants,” he confirmed.
In the first phase of the ministry’s campaign, covering the governorates of Menoufiya, Minya, Assiut, Qena, and Qalioubiya, 6,367,000 people were vaccinated at more than 2,500 mobile and fixed vaccination centres, Abdel-Ghaffar said.
AmrKandil, deputy to the minister of health and population for preventive diseases affairs, told Al-Ahram Weekly that the campaign is scheduled to runin each governorate for four weeks. The third and fourth phases are to start in April and May and will include the remaining governorates.
Forty-one million people in Egypthave been vaccinated against the virus since 2021, including those who received the first shots and boosters. Fifty-six million doses are still available, Kandil said.
He saidAssiut governorate recorded the highest number of people who received the vaccine.
The dominant strain of the coronavirus currently in Egypt is the Omicron variant“which is more contagious despite showing milder symptoms,” Kandil said.
According to the latest statisticsby the World Health Organisation (WHO) issued on 16 March, the number of confirmed cases worldwide is 760 million, whereas confirmed deathsare more than 6.8 million. The number of vaccines is more than 13 billion. At the same time, the WHO reported that it has recorded 4.1 million new infections and 28,000 deaths from the coronavirus from 13 February to 12 March.
Overall, there has been a decrease in infections and deaths by 40 per cent and 57 per cent, respectively, compared to the previous month, the WHO report said.
* A version of this article appears in print in the 23 March, 2023 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly