Egypt to start COVID-19 vaccination campaign

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FILE PHOTO: Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in Berlin, Germany November 19, 2019. (John MacDougall/Pool via REUTERS)

President Abdul Fattah Al Sisi announced Saturday that Egypt would start rolling out a mass COVID-19 vaccination campaign from Sunday with the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab.

“We are starting a vaccination drive tomorrow beginning with healthcare workers followed by those suffering from chronic diseases and later the elderly,” Sisi said in brief comments after unveiling several development projects in Port Said.

Egypt, the Arab world’s most populous country, received its first batch of the Sinopharm vaccines in December.

The company says its vaccine is 79 per cent effective against the novel coronavirus.

Earlier this month, Health Minister Hala Zayed said Egypt would also receive 40 million doses, mostly of the AstraZeneca/Oxford jab, via the Gavi vaccine alliance, with the aim of inoculating 20 per cent of its more than 100 million strong population.

Egypt has registered over 160,000 novel coronavirus infections, including more than 8,850 deaths.

Health officials have warned that low testing rates mean the real number could be at least 10 times higher.

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