Medical teams at the Abu Khalifa Isolation Hospital in Ismailia have been the first in Egypt to receive the Sinovac vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
The team’s vaccination took place in the presence of Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed, and marks the commencement of Egypt’s vaccination programme against the virus.
In brief comments during the inauguration of several development projects in the Port Said Governorate, on Saturday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said, “Tomorrow we will start a vaccination campaign for medical staff and groups suffering from chronic diseases, then the elderly.”
In December, Egypt received the first batch of the Sinovac vaccine manufactured by the Chinese company, Sinopharm.
Also on Saturday, Egypt officially announced its contract for the COVID-19 vaccine developed by AstraZeneca and Oxford University.
Earlier this month, Zayed announced that Egypt will also receive 40 million doses, mostly of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, through the Gavi Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization. The ministry said that it aims to vaccinate a total of 20% of the Egyptian population, which currently stands at just over 100 million.
The state-run newspaper Al-Ahram reported that there are currently about 207,000 healthcare workers forming medical teams in Egypt’s chest, fever, isolation, and triage hospitals that are combating the pandemic.
It also reported that there are currently about 10,000 employed at chest hospitals, 14,000 at fever hospitals, about 13,000 at isolation hospitals, and about 170,000 at triage and referral hospitals.
Last week, Zayed inaugurated the 10,000 sqm National Complex for Serums and Vaccines, at a cost of more than EGP 140 m.
On Saturday, Egypt reported 680 new coronavirus cases, in a latest drop in daily infections detected in the past few weeks, bringing the total infections tally to 161,143. According to an official statement, the Ministry of Health also reported 49 new fatalities, bringing the death toll since the start of the pandemic in February 2020 to 8,902.