Egypt receives over 500,000 shots of Johnson & Johnson single-dose vaccine

Howaida Youssef, Sunday 5 Sep 2021

The shipment arrived through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT) in cooperation with the African Export-Import Bank

Janssen vaccine in Egypt
FILE PHOTO: Vials labelled "COVID-19 Coronavirus Vaccine" and syringe are seen in front of the displayed Johnson & Johnson logo in this illustration taken, February 9, 2021. REUTERS

Egypt received a second batch of  525,600 shots of the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine (Janssen) through the African Vaccine Acquisition Trust (AVAT), in cooperation with the African Export-Import Bank, on Saturday night, the country's Ministry of Health said.

Egypt has contracted with the African Export-Import Bank in May to import 20 million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses, which are currently designated by the ministry for travellers.

The latest shipment is set to be distributed to the vaccination centres designated for travellers countrywide, health ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said in a statement.

Given that a majority of countries have not approved China’s two vaccines as of yet, the travellers in Egypt are choosing to be inoculated with Janssen vaccine, which is dedicated only for travel purposes along with British AstraZeneca one.

Egypt received the first batch of the Janssen vaccine in August. It comprised 261,000 doses.

Up to 145 centres across Egypt are dedicated to giving jabs to travellers and providing vaccination certificates with QR codes — a requirement for arrivals to most countries nowadays.

These initial doses were allocated by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) and its partners, and additional deliveries are expected to follow.

Johnson & Johnson believes that a single-shot, easy to distribute COVID-19 vaccine is an essential tool to combat the pandemic globally. This is why the Company has committed to supply up to a combined 900 million doses of the vaccine to the African Union and the COVAX Facility, a statement by the company said.

Egypt, which has recorded a total of 289,684 cases and 16,776 deaths, is currently ramping up efforts to vaccinate as many people as possible as the peak of the fourth wave of infections is expected later in September.

The country targets to inoculate 40 million citizens by the end of 2021.

Egypt has imported millions of doses of vaccines since starting its campaign early this year including the WHO-approved British AstraZeneca vaccine, Johnson & Johnson, the Chinese Sinopharm, and the Russian Sputnik V, which has not been approved by the WHO.

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