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Tuesday, 28 December 2021

Are booster programs just going to keep the pandemic around longer?

The Health Ministry reported 851 new covid-19 infections yesterday, up from 823 the day before. Egypt has now disclosed a total of 382,194 confirmed cases of covid-19. The ministry also reported 31 new deaths, bringing the country’s total death toll to 21,639.

Merck’s oral covid pill will soon be manufactured locally, after the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) granted emergency use authorization to an unnamed pharma manufacturer with a factory in Badr City to produce the Molnupiravir medication, according to a statement (pdf). Molnupiravir has recently been approved for use in the UK and US, though late-stage trial results have shown it to be less effective than initially thought. Merck in October announced that it would allow other manufacturers to produce its anti-covid pill without royalties, in a move meant to provide developing countries with easier access to the antiviral medication.

Japan shipped the first batch of a 700k shipment of covid jabs to Egypt yesterday through the World Health Organization’s Gavi / Covax program, according to a Japanese Foreign Ministry statement, which did not specify the size of the initial batch or the type of the vaccines. Japan previously announced that it would donate 3.7 mn AstraZeneca vaccines to nine developing countries, including Egypt, through the program.

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