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Wednesday, 3 February 2021

Russia’s Sputnik V jab is looking really good

Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine gives around 92% protection against covid-19, based on the results of late stage trials published yesterday in the Lancet medical journal. It has been deemed to be safe, providing complete protection against hospitalization and death.

The vaccine should be cleared for use by the Egyptian government soon. The Russian jab will be included in the shipments that are coming from Gavi, which will eventually send 40 mn doses our way but for the time being will only be able to ship limited quantities. Russia is also open to handing over the technology necessary to produce Sputnik V at Vacsera, the Cairo-based outfit that is Africa’s top producer of vaccines. Domestic production of Sputnik would allow Egypt to more rapidly immunize its population — and maybe become an exporter of the vaccine. Appetite could be strong, as the Financial Times trumpets that African countries are “looking beyond the west” for vaccines.

The Health Ministry reported 521 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 541 the day before. The ministry also reported 47 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 9,407. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 167,013 confirmed cases of covid-19.

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