Egypt starts vaccinating seniors, patients with chronic disease against coronavirus

Ahram Online , Thursday 4 Mar 2021

Health Minister Hala Zayed said Egypt is the first African country to commence vaccinating citizens

As a precautionary measure, two Egyptian citizens have sanitiser applied on their hands at the entrance of Al- Katameya medical centre in the capital Cairo prior to receiving the first shot of coronavirus vaccine during the first day of inoculating chronic diseases patients and elederly on Thursday, 4 March 2021. (Photo courtesy of the Egyptian cabinet)

Egypt started vaccinating seniors and patients with chronic diseases against COVID-19 on Thursday, almost one month after hundreds of frontline healthcare workers at coronavirus quarantine and triage hospitals began the process.

A number of seniors and patients with chronic diseases were administered the first shot of the vaccine at a Cairo medical centre earlier today, in an event attended by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and Health Minister Hala Zayed, among others.

kidney failure, cancer patients, and the elderly come second in the country’s vaccination priority list, with medical workers battling the contagion at isolation, fever, chest, and screening hospitals being the first to take the vaccine in late January.

Zayed said Egypt was the first African country to receive coronavirus vaccines and the first to commence with inoculating citizens against the deadly virus in the continent.

All citizens above the age of 18 could apply for vaccination online on the website ( but the priority would be given to those above 65 and those suffering chronic diseases per the country's vaccination priority list.

Valid vaccination requests being processed within 72 hours of submission.

Applicants are sent a text on their phones confirming the date and location for receiving the first shot, as the country allocated as many as 40 centres nationwide where citizens can head to receive their jabs.

Citizens who cannot access the website could register for vaccination at the nearest hospital.

Some 152,892 citizens have signed up on the designated website for registration to obtain coronavirus vaccines since the platform was officially launched five days ago, Zayed told reporters at Thursday’s event.

The vaccination campaign currently uses the Chinese Sinopharm and British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, both of which were granted emergency use authorisation by the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) in January, alongside the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine that was authorised for emergency use in February.

Zayed said the two doses of the Sinopharm vaccine will be administered 3 weeks apart, while the two of AstraZeneca will be administered 3 months apart.

Egypt has so far received 350,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine and 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. The Sputnik vaccines have not arrived in Egypt.

The Egyptian government has been in talks with different international drug makers to boost its supply of COVID-19 vaccines and to secure a total of 100 million doses of vaccines approved by the World Health Organisation.

During the event, PM Madbouly said Egypt is pressing on with securing the largest quantities of doses from all vaccine manufacturers, whose shots were granted the emergency approval by the EDA, read a cabinet statement.

Concerning the vaccination process, Madbouly said that Egypt has a “scientific approach” that starts with approving the vaccine by the EDA, followed by contracting the manufacturing companies, and then distributing the shots based on the priority list.

The state is working on augmenting the numbers of citizens allowed to get the vaccines, the prime minister stressed.

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