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Tuesday, 14 December 2021

First Omicron death recorded in the UK

The Health Ministry reported 799 new covid-19 infections yesterday, down from 863 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 369,997 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 44 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 21,104.

We’re getting AstraZeneca’s covid-19 med for the immunocompromised: AstraZeneca will supply its covid-19 antibody cocktail Evusheld to Egypt under an agreement signed yesterday between the drug manufacturer and Egypt’s Authority for Unified Procurement, Al Borsa reports. The cocktail can be used to prevent infection in individuals with weak immune systems for whom vaccines are not sufficient. Evusheld can be administered as soon as it receives regulatory approvals, although it is not clear yet who exactly will be eligible to receive it. This comes a few days after the FDA approved Evusheld for emergency use in the US, with only a handful of countries, including Bahrain and France, following in the US’ footsteps.

A second Egyptian jab on the horizon: Studies to produce a new Egyptian jab named EgyVax will begin under a cooperation agreement signed yesterday between private sector player Eva Pharma, the Supreme Council of Universities, and the Agriculture Research Center, according to an Education Ministry statement. The new jab will undergo clinical trials before getting the green light for production, Supreme Council of Universities secretary general Hossam Abdel Ghaffar said, without disclosing a timeline. The higher education and agriculture ministries will work on producing the viral antigen for the vaccine, which will be manufactured at Eva Pharma’s industrial complex. The vaccine would later be manufactured by Eva Pharma, which is currently the local manufacturer of Sinovac vaccines.

First Omicron death reported in the UK: At least one person has died in the UK after contracting the Omicron covid-19 variant, marking the first publicly confirmed death from the variant globally, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said yesterday, according to Reuters. It’s unclear whether the individual had been vaccinated. The UK is reporting some 200k Omicron infections each day, “dwarfing the number of officially reported cases,” the Financial Times reports.

REALITY CHECK- Health officials are correctly worried about omicron’s transmissibility (including its ability to side-step vaccines), but there is growing evidence that it produces only mild symptoms in most infected people.

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