A file photo of Egypt's Health Minister Hala Zayed (Photo: Egyptian Health Ministry)
Up to 20,000 Egyptians register on a daily basis on the government's website to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed stated on Wednesday.
During the weekly cabinet meeting, Zayed said that by the end of March 500,000 Egyptians are expected to have registered for vaccination.
On 28 February, Egypt launched a website for people over 18 years of age wishing to be inoculated. Priority is given to citizens over 65 years old and patients with chronic diseases.
Zayed said in the meeting that Egypt is scheduled to receive five million doses of the Oxford AstraZenca vaccine, making up the first batch, by the end of the March via COVAX alliance.
The second batch of the AstraZenca vaccine, three million doses, shall be received in May, she added.
Zayed stated that Egypt has received 350,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine.
Concerning the recent suspension of Oxford AstraZenca in several countries, the minister told the cabinet that according to the spokesperson of the World Health Organisation (WHO) a number of European countries decided to suspend the use of the vaccine as a precautionary measure.
Zayed said that the WHO spokesperson stated that the AstraZenca should continue to be used as a vaccine and that there was no reason not to use it. AstraZenca is an excellent vaccine like the other vaccines being administered, she added.
During the weekly cabinet meeting, Zayed discussed possibilities of a third wave of the pandemic.
Health officials have predicted that Egypt may enter the third wave in April in Ramadan due to the social gatherings habitually held during the holy month.
Zayed discussed in the meeting the precautions adopted by a number of other countries to face the third wave of the pandemic, including imposing a travel ban, closing non-essential shops, and partial curfews.
Egypt has registered 192,195 cases of coronavirus since February 2020, including 11,348 fatalities and 148,089 recoveries.