Egypt’s Health Minister announces date for vaccination rollout as February 1

The Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed announced Monday that the date to start the vaccination rollout against COVID-19 will be in the beginning of February.

“By the first of the upcoming month, the vaccination against the coronavirus will begin, the priority will be for medical staff and the elderly, and then the vaccine will be made available to the industrial sector in the country,” Zayed said during a virtual interview with al-Hekaya (the story) show on the MBC Masr satellite channel.

Egypt has access to multiple sources for the vaccine, she assured, with the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm already registered with the Egyptian Drug Authority.

“There are positive developments with regard to contracts, whether from AstraZeneca, Moderna or Pfizer, and the Gavi alliance will allow us to contract the companies that produce the coronavirus vaccine directly,” Zayed said.

“The shipment of the Chinese vaccine will include 500,000 doses, provided that the flow of the vaccine will start by the end of this month.” she explained.

The Egyptian Ministry of Health and Population announced 961 new coronavirus cases on Tuesday, with 52 virus-related deaths and 312 recovering cases as of Monday.

Egypt has now recorded a total of 150,753 confirmed cases, 119,212 recovered cases, and 8,249 virus-related deaths.

The country has officially entered the second wave of the pandemic, after cases rose steadily throughout November and December.

Government officials continue to urge the public to adhere to precautionary measures against the virus, and the Egyptian Cabinet has called on authorities to strictly enforce the country’s mask mandate, which applies to all public transportation and indoor public spaces.

Egypt’s Assistant Minister of Health Mohammed Hassany announced on Friday that Egypt has received doses of Sinopharm and AstraZeneca, and will receive and start clinical trials of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine soon.

In a statement, Hassany said that the country has will receive more in further shipments of the Sinopharm vaccine from China.

Egypt has also signed a contract with vaccine alliance GAVI, who will supply 20 percent of Egypt’s vaccine needs with AstraZeneca.

Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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