Egypt receives first AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine shipment

NETHERLANDS - 2020/11/29: In this photo illustration, a man holds a syringe with a fake Covid-19 vaccine with the AstraZeneca logo in the background. (Photo Illustration by Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Egypt received the first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic on Sunday, a week after the country embarked on a nationwide vaccination campaign.

Sodertalje, Sweden – April 13, 2020: Extrior view of the multinational pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical company AstraZeneca production plant located at Snackviken. / Getty Creative

Frontline health workers will be some of the first to receive the vaccine, alongside the elderly and those with chronic health issues.

The Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) had also approved the emergency use of Covishield, the local name for the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine.

EDA spokesperson Ali Al-Ghamrawi said the authority had approved the emergency use of the vaccine, which is being manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer.

He also said that the approval came after the necessary evaluation processes were conducted at the EDA’s laboratories, in order to ensure the vaccine’s safety and efficiency.

Last week, the Unified Procurement Authority (UPA) announced it had signed a deal with Russia’s R-Pharma and India’s Serum Institute to purchase 20 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. This forms a part of the total 100 million doses targeted by the Egyptian government.

(With input from agencies)