Egypt’s Ministry of Health started on Sunday the process of coronavirus vaccination of medical teams across the country, beginning with staff at Abu Khalifa hospital in Ismailia governorate.
Egypt is using China’s Sinopharma coronavirus vaccine in this phase of inoculation.
Minister of Health Hala Zayed attended the event at Abu Khalifa hospital, which has served as Egypt's first coronavirus isolation hospital after the outbreak of the pandemic last February.
According to the health ministry, the coronavirus vaccination priority list starts with the medical teams at the isolation, fever, chest and screening hospitals; followed by kidney failure and cancer patients; then the elderly.
The total of medical teams targeted to be vaccinated in chest, fever hospitals is 207,000 people, including doctors, nurses, administrators, and workers.
Meanwhile, the target for vaccination in chest hospitals is 10,000 individuals, while the target in the fever hospitals is 14,000, and 13,000 in isolation hospitals.
The target in screening hospitals is 170,000 individuals.
The health ministry has already prepared, in coordination with the interior and local development ministers, 34 centres for the delivery of vaccines to citizens.
Last week, Minister Zayed inaugurated the National Complex for Vaccines and Serums, which aims to provide safe storage for vaccines according to international standards.
The first batch of Sinopharm’s vaccine - 50,000 dozes - reached Egypt in late December and received health ministry approval in early January.
The Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply and the Management of Medical Technology (UPA) announced on Saturday it has signed a deal with the R-Pharma and Serum Institute to purchase 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
Egypt is also in talks for the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine.
Egypt has also separately contacted the vaccine alliance GAVI to secure 40 million doses of one of the coronavirus vaccines for 20 million citizens. The first batch of the GAVI vaccine will arrive sometime in the first quarter of 2021, while the other batches will be arrive later throughout the year.
Egypt entered the second wave of the pandemic in the last week of December, recording double the number of infections daily compared to previous months.
However, the country has seen a drop in cases in the last two weeks, reporting under 1,000 cases in daily infections.