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Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Beijing’s vaccine diplomacy is good news for Egypt

China is sending us a second gift shipment of another 300k Sinopharm vaccines “soon,” China’s ambassador to Cairo said at a virtual presser yesterday, according to Al Masry Al Youm. We received Beijing’s first shipment of 300k jabs last week. The two batches together mean that 300k individuals in Egypt will get the Chinese vaccine.

The announcement comes less than two days after the Health Ministry allowed the elderly and individuals with chronic conditions to begin registering for a vaccine, with citizens, foreign residents, diplomats, and refugees alike included among those who will be eligible for jabs.

The international community needs to work to bring more vaccines in a more equitable manner to African countries to help them combat the pandemic, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi said in his address at the Aswan Forum for Peace and Development yesterday (watch, runtime: 8:37)

The Health Ministry reported 586 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 595 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 183,010 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 48 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,736.

A proposal for an EU-wide vaccination passport will be put forward by the European Commission this month, President Ursula von der Leyen told German lawmakers Monday, according to Reuters. EU leaders last week agreed that a vaccine passport scheme was “necessary,” but were unable to find consensus over how it should be implemented.

Across the pond, the J&J vaccine may pose a bit of an optics problem for the Biden administration. While the single-shot jab has clear logistical benefits that make it a top contender to be rolled out in low-income communities predominantly inhabited by racial minorities, its efficacy at preventing moderate to severe illness from covid-19 is lower than that of the Moderna and Pfizer/BioNTech vaccines, leading some to see that they are getting a “substandard product.” The Washington Post has more.

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