Egypt receives first batch of J&J COVID-19 vaccines

In this photo illustration a Johnson & Johnson logo is seen in front of a medical syringe and a vial with coronavirus vaccine. Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

Egypt on Monday received its first shipment of one-shot Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines, obtaining 261,600 doses in cooperation with the African Union, the health ministry said.

The J&J vaccines will be distributed to 126 vaccination centers specifically for those who want to travel abroad, Khaled Megahed, assistant health minister for media and ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

Egypt recently began locally producing Sinovac’s COVID-19 vaccines, through a deal between the Chinese company and Egypt’s Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).

The country has also received shipments of the Sputnik, Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca shots, including via COVAX, a global agreement established by the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the equitable distribution of vaccines.

Egypt is reporting 54 new infections on average each day, 3% of the peak, with the highest daily average, reported on June 19, according to the Reuters COVID-19 Tracker. The country has reported 284,641 infections and 16,566 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

Egypt’s prime minister said in June the government’s aim was to vaccinate 40% of the population of more than 100 million against COVID-19 by the end of this year.