Egypt’s health minister on Monday said the government plans to vaccinate all 4.5 million of its state employees against COVID-19 in August and September as it seeks to accelerate vaccinations ahead of a likely fourth wave of infections, reported CGTN Africa.
During a press briefing, Egypt’s Health Minister Hala Zayed said the coronavirus infection rate is still low in the country but started to increase last week and the upward curve is expected to continue for a while. He warned that a significant increase in the number of cases is expected in late September.
“It is important for the Egyptian government and the political leadership that we work to intensify vaccinations in the coming period,” Zayed said.
The minister said the health authorities plan to vaccinate more than 5 million workers in pre-university education, university employees, and university students before the start of the academic year in October.
Zayed said that over 10 million people have got themselves registered online for vaccination and nearly 7.5 million have received at least one dose.
In June, Egypt’s prime minister said the government aimed to vaccinate 40% of the country’s total population by the end of this year.
Egypt has received millions of COVID-19 vaccine doses produced by AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinopharm, Sinovac, and Sputnik.
Zayed said the country has also produced about 15 million doses of the locally made Sinovac coronavirus vaccine and is set to receive about 5.2 million doses produced by Pfizer and Moderna in September. The locally-made Sinovac vaccine doses would be released after being approved by the Egyptian Drug Authority.
Egypt plans to have 800 vaccine centers running by the end of August, up from 657 currently. The country has reported 286,352 COVID-19 cases and 16,674 deaths as of Sunday. The actual figures are likely to be much higher, given limited testing.