Egypt receives additional 1.5 mln Pfizer vaccine doses from US

Ahram Online , Thursday 7 Apr 2022

Egypt received a shipment carrying about 1.5 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine at Cairo International Airport on Wednesday evening from the United States, Acting Minister of Health and Population Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar announced on Thursday.

Pfizer vaccine
An Egyptian medical worker administers a dose of Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine . AFP

The shipment, which is via COVAX initiative in cooperation with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation (GAVI), comes within the state's plan to diversify and expand the provision of COVID-19 vaccines nationwide, the statement noted.

On Thursday, the US embassy in Cairo said in a short statement that with the arrival the shipment of Wednesday, Egypt had received so far 25 million doses of American vaccines.

“This shipment illustrates US-Egypt joint efforts to defeat the pandemic and comes at an especially important time – as millions of Egyptians celebrate Ramadan with their friends and family. We are pleased that US vaccines have enabled one in five adults in Egypt to celebrate this month [the holy month of Ramadan] without fear of putting their loved ones at risk, and we encourage all eligible Egyptians to get vaccinated,” the statement quoted the US Embassy Chargé d'Affaires Nicole Shampaine as saying.

Meanwhile, Egypt is currently on its way to produce its own mRNA vaccines – like Pfizer and Moderna – after the World Health Organisation (WHO) announced in late February that Cairo and another five African capitals had been chosen to produce mRNA vaccines after receiving the technology from the WHO’s global mRNA vaccine hub. 

Egypt has already been producing the Chinese WHO-approved Sinovac vaccine since June 2021, following an agreement signed in April 2021 between VACSERA and China’s Sinovac biopharmaceutical company. The country also began exporting locally produced Sinovac/VACSERA vaccine on the same month after gifting the Palestinian Authority 500,000 doses for the Gaza Strip.

Egypt — which started its vaccination campaign in early 2021 — has so far vaccinated more than 32.5 million people to date, according to the health ministry which announced on Wednesday that the coronavirus vaccinations rate during Ramadan has ranged between 100,000 to 150,000 doses per day.

Concerning the current infection rate, Egypt recorded a 54 percent decline in the number of coronavirus infections and a 45 percent decline in COVID-19 related deaths over the past week, leading the country to reduce the number of isolation hospitals nationwide to only four.

The ministry said in its latest bulletin on the pandemic that was released on Saturday that Egypt’s average daily coronavirus infection toll decreased to an average of 559 infections and eight deaths per day from 26 March to 1 April.

Short link: