Egypt, Africa’s most populous Arabic-speaking country, has received its first shipment of a Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine, the state media reported on Friday.
The first batch of the vaccine, which arrived late on Thursday at Cairo airport from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), was developed by the Chinese drug maker, Sinopharm.
During a press conference at Cairo International Airport, Health Minister Hala Zayed said that the first batch, containing 50,000 doses, had arrived and will be available to citizens free of charge.
The batch was provided as a gift from the United Arab Emirates (UAE), with the Chinese and Emirati Ambassadors to Egypt present at Cairo International Airport alongside the Minister of Health.
The first doses will be given to health workers as well as tumour and renal failure patients, according to him.
“The vaccine is 96 per cent to 100 per cent effective in mild and severe cases,” the official added.
The shipment was offered to Egypt as a gift from the UAE, the first delivery had 50,000 doses, an unnamed health official said.
The UAE on Wednesday authorised the Sinopharm vaccine for general use.
Egypt, with a population of more than 100 million, has confirmed so far a total of 120,147 virus cases, resulting in 6,854 deaths.
In recent weeks, health authorities in the country have recorded an increase in daily infection rates amid a warning of a potentially second wave of the pandemic.
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