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Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Mark your calendars

Egyptians over the age of 40 and / or those with chronic illnesses will be able to register to receive the covid-19 vaccine online as of next Sunday, 28 February, Health Minister Hala Zayed said at a press conference following the arrival of a 300k shipment of China’s Sinopharm vaccine in the early hours of Tuesday, according to a cabinet statement.

What do you need to prepare? Applicants will be required to submit three medical reports to determine their medical history, which the platform will use to determine their priority level and automatically schedule appointments accordingly. Applicants will receive a text message with the time and date of the appointment for the first dose, and will receive a follow-up card to track their receipt of the second dose.

The administration of the vaccinations will begin in the first week of March, Zayed told Kelma Akhira’s Lamees El Hadidi. The ministry will only inoculate as many people as it can ensure will have access to the second dose, meaning that the vaccination process for the wider population will take longer but will be efficient, Zayed said (watch, runtime: 5:06).

Egypt is waiting on some 8.6 mn doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine through international vaccine alliance GAVI to arrive in the coming days, the minister said. This batch is part of a total of 40 mn doses expected before the end of the year. Egypt had signed on to receive a total of 100 mn doses from GAVI and individual companies.

The ministry is planning to have vaccinated at least 35-40 mn citizens by the end of the year, the minister told Lamees (watch, runtime: 1:03).

Where will the jabs be given? Forty medical centers in all 27 governorates will be administering the vaccine, the minister said.

The vaccine will be provided without charge to those who cannot afford it, or to those who lost their jobs during the pandemic, the minister said, according to Al Mal. For those able to pay, the two doses will cost around EGP 200, Zayed said (watch, runtime: 0:59).

The Health Ministry reported 633 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 623 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 179,704 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 39 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,443.

Central European countries’ healthcare systems are buckling under the weight of a surge in covid-19 cases, after being spared high infection rates during the first wave, Euronews reports. The Czech Republic has said it is in need of international assistance and only has 14% of its ICU beds available, while Slovakia topped the world in covid deaths per capita last week.

And things are not looking promising on the vaccination front for the rest of the continent: AstraZeneca looks set to deliver less than half of the 180 mn doses it was contracted to provide to the EU in 1Q2021 due to supply chain issues, an EU official told Reuters.

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