CAIRO, 24 January 2021 – Egypt on Sunday launched the first batch of inoculations for the new coronavirus, targeting the elderly and persons in most-at-risk jobs or professions.
A doctor and a nurse received the first two jabs as Egypt’s health minister, Hala Zayeb, promised swift action to administer vaccines.
Egypt says it will secure its vaccine supply from Russian and British manufacturers.
Last January 2, the Egyptian Drug Authority authorized the use of the vaccine developed by the Chinese laboratory Sinopharm.
At the time, Zayeb also announced that Egypt had back in December 2020 received the first batch of the Chinese vaccine, comprising 50,000 doses.
He explained that a second batch of an unspecified quanity was expected “before the second or third week of Janaury” 2021.
“As soon as it arrives,” Zayeb pledged, “we will begin vaccination”.
Public health officials in Cairo have said the country plans to produce an injection locally, which should speed up plans to inoculate as many of Egypt’s more than 100 million inhabitants.
Some of the injections to be produced will be deployed to speed up vaccination campaigns across the rest of Africe, the health minister said.
As of Sunday, Egypt had recorded over 161,000 cases of COVID-19 (680 of them over the last 24 hours) with 8,902 fatalities (49 of them within the past 24 hours).
Some 126,000 Egyptians have fully recovered from the ivrus, with 573 of them discharged from hospitals or health facilities over the last 24 hours.