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Thursday, 25 February 2021

You get a vaccine, you get a vaccine

If you live in Egypt, you’ll have access to a jab, regardless of your passport: All foreign residents, refugees, and diplomats currently residing in Egypt will be able to register for a vaccine along with Egyptian citizens, in the same order of priority as citizens, Cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad confirmed to Ala Mas’ouleety’s Ahmed Moussa yesterday (watch, runtime: 3:57).

That means non-citizens who are above the age of 40 and / or have a chronic illness will be eligible to register for their jab on Sunday, when the Health Ministry will open its registration platform. Refugees will also be eligible for a jab without charge if they can prove that they are financially unable to pay for it, Saad said.

Prime Speed Medical is set to become the first private sector player in Egypt to import covid-19 vaccines with an initial agreement for 10 mn doses of Russia’s Sputnik V. Prime reached an initial agreement following negotiations between the Egyptian Medicines Authority and the Russian Sovereign Wealth Fund, according to a press release seen by Al Mal. The imported jabs will be distributed by government officials. The agreement comes on the heels of Sputnik V getting authorization for emergency use in Egypt yesterday.

The first batch is set to arrive by the end of next week, Ahmed Moussa said, suggesting that the first shipment will be 1 mn doses, with the rest set to follow in later batches (watch, runtime: 2:54).

The vaccine tally so far: Egypt just took receipt of 300k doses of Sinopharm’s jab as a gift from China earlier this week, and is waiting on some 8.6 mn doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, which are set to be delivered within a few days, Health Minister Hala Zayed has said. The Oxford jabs are just one batch from a total of 40 mn doses we should be receiving through international vaccine alliance GAVI before the end of 2021. As of last month, Egypt had signed on to receive a total of 100 mn vaccine doses: The 40 mn from GAVI, another 40 mn from Sinopharm, and 20 mn from AstraZeneca itself. We have no clarity as of yet on when these vaccines will be delivered because of high global demand and limited supplies, Zayed said previously.

The Health Ministry reported 644 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 633 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 180,051 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 52 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,495.

The world’s first Covax delivery outside India goes to: Ghana. Some 660k doses of AstraZeneca/Oxford jabs arrived in Ghana yesterday via the World Health Organization/Gavi Covax scheme, the global health body said in a statement. Covax expects to deliver almost 2 bn vaccine doses in 2021, of which 1.8 bn are set to make course to poorer countries without charge, in a bid for “equitable distribution”. Next up for Covax jabs this week: Côte d’Ivoire.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine — the first single-dose covid-19 jab — is 85% effective in preventing serious illness from the disease, including from the South Africa variant of the virus, the US’ Food and Drug Administration said (pdf). The results of the FDA’s study on the jab put it on track for emergency authorization as early as tomorrow, when the administration is set to meet to make a decision.

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