Picture of vials of the vaccine developed by Sinopharm of China against COVID-19 on February 19, 2021. AFP
Egyptians are to be allowed to reserve doses of coronavirus vaccines as of Sunday via a designated website, with the priority to be given to those who suffer chronic diseases and those who are above 40, stated Health Minister Hala Zayed.
The citizens who can't get access to the website, which the ministry launched recently, can head to the nearest hospital to register their data so that they can be administered the shots, Minister Zayed told a press conference on Tuesday.
Zayed's statements came hours after Egypt received a gift shipment carrying 300,000 doses of Sinopharm vaccines from Beijing, raising its supply of the Chinese vaccine to 350,000 doses.
No further details were provided by the Egyptian minister on the anticipated date of vaccinating the newly announced segments, who come second in the country’s vaccination priority list topped by frontline healthcare workers.
Egypt has already vaccinated hundreds of medical workers at isolation and triage hospitals nationwide as a first step of its vaccination campaign began mid-January.
The campaign depends on the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, alongside the British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.
Egypt received the first batch of 50,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine in December as a gift from the UAE, and the same quantities of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine in January.
The EDA approved the emergency use of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine and the AstraZeneca vaccine in January.
Zayed thanked the Chinese Ambassador to Cairo Liao Liqiang, who attended the briefing for the Chinese gift.
Liqiang said that the shipment is a symbolic gift that expresses china's support to Egypt, adding that "we are returning a favour to Egypt."
In February 2020, Egypt provided China - along with other countries - tons of preventive medical items and equipment to help deal with the coronavirus outbreak.
During the conference, Zayed promised that numbers of the targeted vaccination priority groups will increase as soon as the country receives more doses from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI).
GAVI, an international scheme aiming to ensure equal access to new and under-used vaccines, is expected to grant Egypt a total of 40 million doses of one type of the coronavirus vaccine during the course of 2021.