Egypt to receive 3.4mln doses of COVID-19 vaccines in May: Health Minister

Ministry of Health and Population will launch medical convoys to give the vaccine to citizens in front of post offices

  
Elderly people, wearing protective face masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, wait to receive a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine at a health centre, in Qatameya, Cairo, Egypt March 22, 2021.

Elderly people, wearing protective face masks amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, wait to receive a shot of a COVID-19 vaccine at a health centre, in Qatameya, Cairo, Egypt March 22, 2021.

REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced, on Wednesday, that the country will receive 3.4 million doses of vaccines against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) during May.

This includes 1.7 million doses next week and a further 1.7 million doses by the end of the month through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX).

During a cabinet meeting, Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly asserted that Egypt is working to provide the largest amount of COVID-19 vaccines, and noted that large batches will be received in May. 

During the meeting, Zayed said that her ministry had carried out health awareness campaigns targeting one million citizens in 10 governorates during the past two weeks. 

The minister also said that the campaign provided health awareness to citizens on the preventive and precautionary measures against the coronavirus, and encouraged them to visit vaccination centres. 

She noted that the Ministry of Health and Population will launch medical convoys to give the vaccine to citizens in front of post offices.

Zayed said that internal committees were formed in directorates under the Ministry of Health and Population to monitor the availability of oxygen tanks. The committees would also develop occupational safety plans in isolation, fever, and chest hospitals across Egypt. 

She confirmed that one million doses of the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm vaccine are set to arrive this month, in addition to 500,000 doses of the Sinovac throughout this week. 

She said Egypt will soon receive 1,400 litres of the raw material needed to manufacture two million vaccine doses of the Sinovac vaccine, which the country is set to start manufacturing.

Over the past few months, Egypt has reiterated its plans to locally produce the Sinovac vaccine to cover local and African needs.

In a press conference last week, Zayed noted that Chinese experts will soon arrive in Egypt, adding that Egypt will produce 40 to 60 million Sinovac doses in the first year. This includes 5 million doses in the first two months.

Zayed also reviewed her ministry’s efforts to expand centres for providing COVID-19 vaccines to citizens, by establishing an expanded vaccination centre in the Cairo Fair Zone. 

Regarding the precautionary measures taken by the Ministry of Health and Population in preparation for the return of tourism in South Sinai, she clarified that Egypt has provided the necessary medical supplies and equipment against the virus. 

Checkpoints at airports will also ensure that no passenger will be allowed to enter Egypt without the PCR test, she assured. 

In case that the passenger does not have his PCR test, the test shall be conducted at the airport, and the tourist will be transferred to a certain hotel until the PCR results are received. 

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