Photo courtesy of Egypt Ministry of Health.
Egypt received on Friday night 1,766,400 doses of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine under the COVAX initiative, Health Minister Hala Zayed said.
This is the third of several shipments of a total of 40 million doses to be provided to Egypt under the COVAX initiative, Health Ministry Spokesman Khaled Megahed stated.
More doses will arrive in the coming period, Megahed added.
The vaccines will be tested at the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) labs, pointing out that AstraZeneca is a two-dose vaccine taken three months apart, he noted.
AstraZeneca is 76 percent effective against symptomatic COVID-19 and 100 percent effective against severe cases, Megahed added.
Egypt has recently received millions of doses of the Sinopharm, Sinovac, Sputnik, AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
On Tuesday, Egypt received another shipment of AstraZeneca provided by Romania as part of a tripartite agreement between the two countries and AstraZeneca Pharmaceutical Company.
The shipment comprised 525,000 doses of the vaccine, according to a statement by the Egyptian health ministry.
A day earlier, the first shipment of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine arrived at Cairo International Airport.
The shipment comprised 261,600 doses of the vaccine, Zayed said, asserting that other shipments will follow.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Johnson & Johnson vaccine has an efficacy of 85.4 percent against severe coronavirus symptoms and 93.1 percent against hospitalisation.
The step, which comes in cooperation with the African Union (AU), is in line with the country's plan to make vaccines available for Egyptians and those travelling abroad, the minister added.
The AU’s special African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) signed in March a $2 billion deal with Johnson & Johnson to purchase 220 million doses with funds from the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank).
More vaccines are scheduled to arrive in Egypt this month as the country seeks to expand the inoculation process which started earlier this year.
According to the WHO, as of 10 August, a total of 5.7 million vaccine doses have been administered in Egypt with 1.8 million fully vaccinated individuals and 3.8 million people vaccinated with at least one dose.
Egypt has reported 285,158 coronavirus cases thus far, including 233,772 recoveries and 16,609 deaths.