File photo: A man receives a dose of the China s Sinopharm vaccine against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) at a mass immunization venue inside Cairo s International Exhibition Center in Cairo, Egypt June 5, 2021. REUTERS
Egypt has sought to diversify the procurement of coronavirus vaccines to reach its goal of fully vaccinating 40 million citizens or more by the year's end, Mohamed Awad Tag El-Din told local television channel Extra News.
The presidential adviser said the country has administered over 35 million doses to 25 million people since the launch of the vaccination campaign earlier this year.
Egypt seeks to administer around 80 million doses of various vaccines, including the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine which is currently administered to those who are planning to travel abroad, in order to fully vaccinate 40 million people by the end of the year, Tag El-Din said.
Egypt has received over 60 million doses of the Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, and Pfizer vaccines, most of which were donated to the country through the Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative.
On Saturday, Egypt received 3.6 million doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which was donated from the US through the COVAX initiative.
"Were it not for the diversification of coronavirus vaccine procurement, we would never have reached this figure," he stressed.
Egypt has only purchased 1.5 million doses through contracts signed with international pharmaceutical companies.
Tag El-Din said the country also seeks to reach more agreements with more international drug makers to increase the local production of coronavirus vaccines.
Under an agreement with the Chinese biopharmaceutical company Sinovac, the Egyptian Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA) will produce 40 million doses of the Chinese vaccine annually, with the figure slated to increase to 250 million doses by 2023.
Starting 1 December, unvaccinated citizens will not be allowed to enter any government building.
In addition, unvaccinated employees will not be allowed to enter workplaces after 15 November without a negative PCR test every week.
Staff and university students have also been mandated to receive vaccination in order to enter campuses in the new school year that started on 9 October.
Egypt, which is going through the peak of the pandemic's fourth wave, has recorded a total of 330,084 infections, included 18,592 deaths and 277,623 recoveries.