Around 1,141 citizens have received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine since Egypt began its vaccination rollout for priority groups on Thursday, the health ministry announced on Friday.
In an official statement, the health ministry said 1,141 citizens from eligible groups, which include the elderly and people with chronic diseases, have been administered the first shot of the vaccine on the first day of the campaign.
40 centers nationwide have been designated as vaccination centers for citizens, the statement said, with three in Cairo and four in Giza among others.
Egypt currently administers doses of the Chinese Sinopharm and the British-Swedish Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines, both of which were granted emergency use authorisation by authorities earlier this year.
According to the health ministry, the Chinese vaccine is taken in two doses 21 days apart while, AstraZeneca’s injections are administered in two shots three months apart.
Egypt began its vaccine rollout for priority groups, as it concluded the vaccination of the country’s medical staff in the past few weeks.
The rollout comes days after Egypt opened on Sunday, online registration for the vaccine through a designated website, as part of expanding its immunisation program.
Over 150,000 citizens have already registered to receive the vaccine since Sunday.
The rollout comes as Egypt pushes - with high efforts - to secure vaccines for the over-populous nation.
Egypt eyes a near-delivery of 8.6 million doses from 40 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations (GAVI), an international scheme aiming to ensure equal access to new and underused vaccines.
It has so far received 350,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine and 50,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine since December.
The Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine was also authorised for emergency use in February; yet has not yet been delivered to Egypt.