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Tuesday, 22 June 2021

The US is donating more vaccines to Egypt

Egypt will receive a share of 14 mn vaccines allocated by the US to at least 30 other “regional priority” countries, the White House said yesterday without giving a more detailed breakdown.

This is part of a second, 55 mn-dose tranche of vaccines to be handed out by the US under the Biden administration’s pledge to distribute 80 mn shots around the world. The first batch, announced earlier this month, will see 6 mn doses divided between Egypt and 13 other countries. It remains unclear how many of the the shots will be allocated to each nation.

When could we receive these jabs? It’s likely to be a longer process than first thought: Having originally pledged to send the 80 mn doses by the end of June, the White House is now saying that it will “allocate” them by the end of the month, suggesting shipments will stretch into July or beyond.

The Health Ministry reported 509 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 532 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 277,797 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 39 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 15,898.

Africa’s vaccine rollout could get a shot in the arm with a new mRNA vaccine production facility the World Health Organization (WHO) is planning to set up in South Africa.

The WHO plans to establish the new “technology transfer hub” — deemed the first of its kind in Africa — alongside a South African-French consortium, it said in a statement yesterday. Production of mRNA-based vaccines, such as the jabs developed by BioNTech / Pfizer and Moderna, could start when the plant is up and running in 9-12 months’ time, WHO boss Tedros Ghebreyesus told a news conference yesterday, Reuters reported.

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