| 13 June 2021, Sunday | النسخة العربية

Egypt speeds up Covid-19 vaccination program

Egypt has joined up efforts to vaccinate its population of 100 million against Covid-19, including offering at-home vaccination for eligible people, increasing capacity and paving the way for local vaccine production.

Egypt has administrated at least one vaccine dose for 1.6 million people as of Sunday, with only 0.3 per cent of the population fully vaccinated.

After a slow start to the program, which began with healthcare workers at the end of January, the pace has improved in the last month with close to 600,000 vaccinations in the two weeks between May 9 and May 23 amid a third wave of the virus in the country.

“With the current efforts that are being done in expanding the vaccination capacity, I think it should be possible for Egypt to catch up with other countries – with a lot of effort, though,” Ayman Sabae, health researcher for the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, told The National.

People with diseases that impede their movement, such as paralysis and multiple sclerosis, can now receive coronavirus vaccinations at home, the Egyptian Ministry of Health said on Wednesday.

Those with limited mobility due to old age or other reasons will be provided with ambulances to take them to the nearest vaccination centres.

People must still register on the government website, launched on February 28, to make an appointment before requesting at-home vaccination via the hotline or an ambulance through emergency services.

There are currently 400 vaccination centers throughout the country, including the Cairo International Convention Centre, which began distributing vaccines earlier this month with the ability to serve over 10,000 people per day.

Meanwhile, large vaccine orders have been rolling in this month, including 1.7 million Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine doses through the Covax initiative and two shipments of Sinopharm vaccine doses from China totaling one million.

Egypt has so far received 2.6 million AstraZeneca vaccine doses and several shipments of China’s Sinopharm vaccine, bringing the total to around five million.