FILE: A woman holding vials labelled "coronavirus vaccine" (Reuters)
Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced on Sunday that the coronavirus vaccination campaign for medical teams would start nationwide on Monday.
In a press conference held at Abu Khalia isolation hospital where the first doctor and nurse in Egypt received their first shot of the Sinopharm’s COVID-19 vaccine, Minister Zayed said that Egypt would secure 100 million shots of coronavirus from different sources.
She also revealed that Egypt would receive new shipments of the vaccines, including Sinopharm’s vaccine.
The first batch of Sinopharm’s vaccine - 50,000 dozes - reached Egypt in late December and received the health ministry's approval in early January.
Zayed stated that Egypt already reserved 100 million doses of the Coronavirus vaccine through agreements with two companies to secure 40 million doses in addition to reserving 20 million doses through Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.
The minister also added that the health ministry was currently registering vaccines from Russian, British and Chinese vaccine factories without naming them and that Egypt has the capability to store 140 million doses of the vaccine.
The Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement, Medical Supply and the Management of Medical Technology (UPA) announced on Saturday that it has signed a deal with Russian R-Pharma and Indian Serum Institute to purchase 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine each.
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.
The minister added that the vaccination process will be based on priority and the shipments she received adding that the rollout was gradual.
The registration for citizens will be online and that the vaccine will be for a small price for those who can afford, revealing no further detail about the pricing of the vaccine.
The vaccine is currently free for medical teams.
During the press conference, Zayed asked the citizens to take all their precautionary measures whether following social distancing or wearing the mask even after receiving the vaccine.
She also commanded the bravery of Egypt’s Medical teams and praised their sacrifices during the pandemic.
Dr. Abdel Moneim Mohamed and Nurse Supervisor Ahmed Hamdan received the first two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine making them officially the first two Egyptians inside Egypt to receive the first shot.
Egypt have registered officially 161,143 cases of coronavirus including 126,176 recoveries and 8,902 fatalities.
According to both Egypt’s health ministry and World Health Organization (WHO) the real number of cases are higher than the ones officially registered.
In its latest on the fatalities among doctors alone, the Egyptian Medical syndicate stated the number of doctors who died due to the complications of the pandemic reached 341 on Sunday.