Egypt’s Minister of State for Information Osama Heikal on Friday confirmed that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has ordered the government to provide the public with free doses of the coronavirus vaccine.
Heikal said that the first doses will be reserved to the most vulnerable groups, including doctors, isolation hospital staff, and the elderly.
After receiving a shipment of the Chinese company Sinopharm’s vaccine on Thursday, Egypt became the first country in Africa to obtain a vaccine and the second in the Arab world, after the United Arab Emirates.
Egypt obtained the vaccine before EU countries and the US, reflecting the government’s success in its ongoing efforts to secure a vaccine, the minster pointed out.
He explained that Egypt’s strong relations with China and its participation in Sinopharm’s clinical trials aided in getting does of the vaccine so quickly.
Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed had personally received a jab of the vaccine during clinical trials.
The vaccine has received approval from the World Health Organization, and the coronavirus committee at the Ministry of Health agreed to use it after the success of his clinical trials, Heikal noted.
After receiving doses of the vaccine, the UAE released a statement of approval, claiming that the vaccine has an 86 percent efficacy rate.
Edited Translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm