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Thursday, 16 September 2021

Health Ministry says 13 mn Egyptians have now been jabbed

Some 13 mn Egyptians have received a first dose of a covid vaccine, Health Minister Hala Zayed said during yesterday’s cabinet meeting, in a further indication that the government’s vaccination campaign is ramping up.

Wait, wasn’t it 8 mn just two days ago? According to presidential health advisor Mohamed Awad Tag El Din, who gave the figure during a Monday night interview on Ala Mas’ouleety. For both these numbers to be true, clinics around the country would have had to have handed out some 2.5 mn shots a day on Tuesday and yesterday. Unfortunately we have no way of explaining the discrepancy in these figures.

Travel vaccine centers will open their doors to all: Zayed said that travel vaccination centers would be opened to all registered Egyptians who are waiting for a vaccine in efforts to eliminate waiting lists. She said at the cabinet meeting that 617k people have been issued QR-code certificates after being vaccinated for travel purposes, while 5k people have been issued vaccine certificates for local use.

On local Sinovac production: Vacsera has so far manufactured 5 mn doses of Sinovac. The state-owned vaccine-maker earlier this month upped its production to 300k shots per day. Half of those 5 mn doses are being distributed this week, with the aim of supplying 2 mn every week, Zayed said.

The government expects to obtain 17 mn doses during September, including AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sputnik, and Pfizer, the minister said. Egypt is expecting the delivery of an additional 5 mn doses of Sinopharm by the end of the month and between 100-250k doses of AstraZeneca by an undetermined date.

Universities are a big part of the vaccination drive at the moment, as students of all ages resume face-to-face learning. More than 300k jabs have been given to staff, faculty, and students at university vaccination centers around the country, the statement says.

The Health Ministry reported 531 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 503 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 294,482 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 13 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 16,908.

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