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Monday, 23 August 2021

You can now register for another jab if you need one to travel for work or study

Previously vaccinated Egyptians can now register to receive a second vaccine if they need to travel — but only if you’re going abroad for work or study: People who have already been jabbed can now request a second course of a vaccine they need to travel without quarantining, the Emigration and Egyptian Expat affairs Ministry said in a statement yesterday.

Vaccinated travellers can register here, and their information will be passed on to the Health Ministry. The statement gave no further information on how long the process would take or when would-be travellers can expect to be called to get their boosters once they sign up. How the new shot would be documented was also left unclear.

The booster is only for Egyptian nationals who need to work or study abroad and is not currently available to those who need to travel for other reasons. The application form requires that Egyptians submit a scan of their passport in addition to a copy of their foreign residency permit, student visa, or foreign passport.

And seems to only be available for Egyptians: The statement does not make mention of foreign residents, and the registration form clearly asks for a national ID number. The primary vaccination drive however, doesn’t distinguish between nationals, foreign residents and refugees, suggesting the state may still open the boosters-for-travelers program to residents.

MEANWHILE- The vaccination of public sector employees should be complete by the start October under a directive from cabinet, ahead of a possible spike in cases in late September, Health Minister Hala Zayed said during a press conference yesterday. Zayed added that so far there are no plans to give medical staff a covid-19 booster shot.

The first doses of the Egypt-made Sinovac vaccine should arrive in vaccination centers today, Zayed added, saying Egypt has the capacity to produce 15-18.5 mn doses each month.

5.2 mn doses of Pfizer and Moderna are also expected to arrive next month, Zayed said, without specifying the size of the shipment of each. The minister has previously said that a 2.5 mn dose shipment of Pfizer was expected to arrive earlier this month.

More shipments of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses are due to arrive “in the coming days” to continue vaccinating travellers, she noted. The minister did not specify the number of doses Egypt is expected to receive, but a second 700k dose batch of the single-dose vaccine is scheduled to land here at home imminently after we received the first batch of 260.6k Johnson & Johnson vaccines through the African Union earlier this month. The AU is providing us with a total of 25 mn doses of the J&J jab, while the government reportedly placed an order directly with the company earlier this year for 4 mn doses, though these are not expected to arrive until the fourth quarter.

The J&J shots are being distributed among the vaccination centers dedicated to unvaccinated travelers nationwide, where individuals can also obtain QR code-bearing vaccination certificates. The government had this week ramped up the number of vaccination centers dedicated for those wishing to travel to 145 from 126.

The Health Ministry has also set up a new vaccination center dedicated to vaccinating students travelling as part of education missions in the Education Ministry’s HQ in Nasr City to facilitate their access to covid-19 vaccines, Zayed said in a statement.

The Health Ministry reported 184 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 173 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 235,864 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 8 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,671.

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