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Monday, 29 March 2021

More gift jabs from China on the way as we cross the 200k case mark

We’re getting yet another gift shipment of Sinopharm — plus a batch we purchased: China is set to send over another undisclosed number of Sinopharm jab doses as its third gift shipment in the next few days, Chinese ambassador in Cairo Liao Liqiang told Health Minister Hala Zayed yesterday. This comes as a separate batch of the Sinopharm vaccine — which Egypt purchased from the vaccine maker — is also set to arrive within days, according to a statement yesterday.

The Sinopharm tally: Beijing has already gifted us with two 300k-dose gift shipments of the vaccine in February and March. We had also purchased 50k jabs in December, bringing the total number of Sinopharm doses Egypt has taken receipt of to 650k.

A total of 3 mn doses of the Sinopharm jab should have landed in Egypt by the end of May, according to head of the ministry’s preventive medicine department Alaa Eid.

We’re also moving closer to manufacturing the Sinovac vaccine here at home as a delegation of Chinese experts is visiting Egypt soon to inspect state-owned vaccine maker Vacsera’s production lines prior to signing a manufacturing agreement, Zayed said.

Need a refresher on the differences between the Sinovac and Sinopharm jabs? We’ve got you covered.

And if you’ve lost track of how many vaccines Egypt has ordered and received overall, or need a recap of when, where, and how you can get inoculated, the Cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Center is out with a short report and handy infographics to get you up to speed.

Pope Tawadros II has got his first jab of the Sinopharm covid-19 vaccine, the Church spokesperson said in a statement.

Some 13.5% of Egyptian families suspect that one of their family members has been infected with covid-19 at one point during the pandemic, according to research conducted by state statistics agency Capmas conducted in October-December 2020. Almost two-thirds of these said that a high fever was the biggest indication, while 48% confirmed the suspected case through a test. The agency didn’t disclose how many people it surveyed.

The Health Ministry reported 686 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 683 the day before. The ministry also reported 37 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 11,882. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 200,050 confirmed cases of covid-19.

The UAE will start commercial production of Sinopharm’s covid-19 vaccine from April under an agreement signed yesterday that is set to make it the first country outside of China to produce the jabs, Bloomberg reported. While it’s not clear how many doses will be manufactured, the pact will see the country become a vaccine supply hub for the Middle East and — in the words of one analyst — is “a really clear signal that the UAE is China’s most trusted partner” in the region. The UAE approved the vaccine last year after local late-stage trials showed a 86% efficacy rate in preventing the virus.

Vaccinating kids and teens is vital to achieving herd immunity, according to the Wall Street Journal. This isn’t going to be possible until later this year or early 2022 at the earliest: manufacturers are still testing their vaccines to ensure that they’re safe when given to children.

Vaccine passports are coming soon to the US, with the White House and private sector firms currently working on laying out standards on the digital certificates that will serve as proof that a US citizen has been vaccinated against covid-19, the Washington Post reports. The passports will be available through mobile apps without charge, developers told the newswire. The US is the latest to hop on the bandwagon as China, Singapore, Canada and the EU have all signalled they are rolling out or could roll out the documents.

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