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Thursday, 4 March 2021

The elderly + chronically ill are getting jabs today

The Health Ministry reported 577 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 581 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 184,168 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 44 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 10,822.

Vaccines will be administered as of today for the elderly and those with chronic conditions who registered for the jab, Ahram Gate reports, citing unnamed Health Ministry sources. All Egyptian citizens and non-Egyptians living in Egypt (including diplomats, residents, and refugees) who are either 65+ or above the age of 18 and suffering from chronic conditions are ensured the vaccine once they register through the Health Ministry’s website.

At least 150k eligible individuals have signed up for a vaccine on the website as of yesterday evening, the sources say. The first day of registration saw more than 68k people signing up, Assistant Health Minister Khaled Megahed said on Tuesday.

The registrations come as Egypt should be receiving 8.6 mn doses of the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine sometime this week as part of the agreement signed with the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Gavi/Covax initiative, which will see Egypt receive 40 mn doses of the AstraZeneca jab during 2021, Health Minister Hala Zayed previously said.

Sudan became the first MENA country to get its hands on the jab through the initiative with a shipment of over 800k doses landing yesterday. The initiative aims to deliver around 90 mn jabs to Africa in 1Q2021, according to a UNICEF statement. The first round of vaccine allocations by Covax will support the inoculation of first-line workers and those above 45 with chronic illnesses “living in areas with high transmission or anticipated high transmission, marking the first phase of the nationwide vaccination campaign,” the statement said.

REFRESHER ON VACCINE DELIVERIES IN THE REST OF AFRICA: Nigeria received 3.94 mn doses of the vaccine on Monday, becoming the third country to receive a shipment from Covax. This was also the largest shipment sent out by Covax so far, after Ghana received a 600k-dose delivery and Ivory Coast got a 504k-dose shipment last week. Senegal also landed 324k doses of the jab on Tuesday, while Rwanda was due to receive its first 340k-dose batch yesterday.

A global “fake” covid-19 vaccine network was dismantled in South Africa and China, with “hundreds” of the knock-off jabs seized as several people were arrested, Interpol reported yesterday. The international policing authority argues that this represents only the "tip of the iceberg" in vaccine-related crime.

YOUR COVID FIGURE OF THE DAY: USD 4 tn. That’s the expected economic cost to the global economy of having only half the population of developing countries vaccinated by mid-2021, according to a study from the University of Maryland. That price tag jumps to USD 9 tn if developing countries don’t vaccinate any of their citizens this year. The study caught the attention of Al Hayah Al Youm’s Mohamed Sherdy (watch, runtime: 4:00) and Masaa DMC’s Ramy Radwan (watch, runtime: 3:39).

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