| 26 May 2024, Sunday |

Egypt seeks to expand vaccination rollout

The Egyptian government will implement several measures to accelerate COVID-19 inoculations after it received more than 854,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine last week.

Only 148,987 citizens, including medical staff, healthcare workers and vulnerable groups, have been vaccinated so far, said Health Minister Hala Zayed during a meeting with ministry officials on the inoculation process.

Health Ministry Spokesman Khalid Mujahid said Zayed ordered doubling the number of medical teams at vaccination centers nationwide, as well as the working hours.

She also stressed that the number of citizens visiting each center should not exceed 100 per day, he added.

Workers in the tourism sector will be soon vaccinated, the minister affirmed, especially in coastal governorates as the summer approaches.

Egypt on Wednesday received 854,400 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as part of the global COVAX agreement.

COVAX was established by the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the equitable distribution of vaccines.

The shipment is part of 40 million doses that Egypt is set to receive through GAVI in 2021.

Egypt had received its first 50,000 dose shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this year and 680,000 doses of China’s Sinopharm vaccine. It will soon receive 900,000 more doses of Sinopharm.

Mujahid said authorities have opened 40 more centers, taking the total to 139 throughout the country.

In televised comments on Friday, he said authorities are aiming to increase the number of vaccination centers to 200, with 40 in Cairo alone.

Egypt has reported some 250,000 COVID-19 infections, 156,000 recoveries and 12,163 deaths.

  • Asharq Al-Awsat