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Wednesday, 28 July 2021

Gov’t to start handing out covid travel certificates soon

That vaccination certificate you get when you receive your shot: You can’t use it to travel. The current vaccination certificates being handed out to people are not internationally-accredited documents that can be used for travel purposes and are only meant to document the receipt of the vaccines, Mohamed Abdel Fattah, head of the Central Department of Preventive Medicine at the Health Ministry told El Hadidi (watch, runtime 12:44).

So how do we travel? The Health Ministry will open centers for those who want to get vaccinated for travel purposes in the coming days, he said. Those wishing to travel have to show their passport, visa or airline ticket at the center to get the vaccine required by the country they're going to, and obtain a documented vaccination certificate.

Yes, but: Travelling to Europe or the US requires you to have been vaccinated with either the Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca or Johnson & Johnson vaccines — all of which either don’t exist in Egypt or are in very short supply. We’re supposed to be receiving some 25 mn doses of J&J through the African Union, but we’re unlikely to get all of these for another year. The AU will start distributing 6 mn doses to countries next week, and 45 countries are expected to have received shipments by the end of August.

The Health Ministry reported 31 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 35 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 284,090 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported four new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,498.

Tokyo reports new record of covid-19 cases: The Japanese capital reported a record 2,848 new cases of covid-19 on Tuesday, days after the beginning of the long-delayed Olympic Games, the Associated Press reports. Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga said he still isn’t considering the suspension of the Olympics but urged people to abstain from unnecessary outings. The games have gone ahead despite calls for their postponement and widespread public criticism that Olympics officials are jeopardizing public health. The event organizers recently announced a total of 153 cases of covid-19 including three athletes.

The fight against Malaria could be getting a boost thanks to covid after BioNtech announced that it would invest a portion of the proceeds gained from its mRNA covid-19 vaccine into making malaria and tuberculosis vaccines based on the same technology in Africa, the Wall Street Journal reports. The mRNA shots would be developed at a facility based in Africa and could once again put the company in competition with Oxford University, who earlier this year conducted early stage clinical trials of a malaria shot in Burkina Faso.

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