Egypt’s COVID-19 vaccination programme to start early February – minister

Egypt’s health minister on Monday said the country’s COVID-19 vaccination programme will start 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,” Hala Zayed said in an interview with al-Hekaya show on the MBC Masr satellite channel.

Zayed said the country would start in the coming weeks receiving the vaccines through the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance, getting 40 million vials for 20 million people, about 20 percent of the 100 million population.

“Within two or three weeks maximum there will be the beginning of the influx of GAVI vaccines, which largely will be AstraZeneca [vaccines],”

Egypt has access to multiple sources for the vaccine, the minister 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,”

“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.”