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Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Put the pedal to the metal

Egypt’s vaccine rollout should be expedited after the Health Ministry decided to redistribute people waiting for a jab across more medical centers. Some of the 400k individuals who registered for a vaccine through the Health Ministry’s website and who are now on waiting lists at one of the first 40 medical units the ministry set up will instead get their vaccines at one of the newly-introduced 98 centers across the country, advisor to the Health Minister Aysam Salah told Al Shorouk. The decision comes as the ministry has received an influx of complaints about the slow vaccination rate and long waiting lists, especially among individuals who were among the first to register for a jab.

You can now also amend your vaccine registration to select a center that doesn’t have a waiting list by calling the ministry’s hotline (15335), Salah said.

The available centers: Vaccines are now being administered at 138 medical units across the country. There are 33 sites available across Cairo, followed by another 24 units in Giza and 19 in Alexandria. The ministry is looking to set up 5k medical units and 600 hospitals to administer the vaccines soon.

So far, a total of 600k individuals have registered for a vaccine through the ministry’s website. It remains unclear how many of those have been inoculated already. Health Minister Hala Zayed had said that the aim was to have as many as 250k individuals vaccinated last week alone. It is unclear whether that target was met.

Egypt should start manufacturing China’s Sinovac vaccine within a few months, Undersecretary of the Health Ministry for Preventive Affairs Mohamed Abdel Fattah said on Sada El Balad’s Sabah El Balad (watch, runtime: 6:55). This comes as a Chinese delegation will be visiting Egypt soon to inspect state-owned vaccine maker Vacsera’s production lines. All eligible Egyptians should be vaccinated before year-end, he added.

Could the House of Representatives go on recess until all MPs are inoculated? That’s what MP Mostafa Bakry proposed at yesterday’s plenary session, pointing out that 15 MPs have been infected with the virus that causes covid-19 and that transmission is easy in the parliament building, Al Mal reports. Bakry insisted he doesn’t want MPs to jump the vaccination line or to get preferential treatment ahead of others. House Speaker Hanafi Gebali backed Bakry’s idea and said he will look into putting the proposal in motion.

The Health Ministry reported 689 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 686 the day before. The ministry also reported 32 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 11,914. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 200,739 confirmed cases of covid-19.

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