Egypt’s health minister says Sinopharm vaccine will be distributed free of charge

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Fri, 11 Dec 2020 - 09:33 GMT

Egyptian Health Minister speaks in a press conference, along with Chinese Ambassador to Egypt and acting Emirati Ambassador Mariam Al-Kaabi, after the arrival of the 1st batch of the vaccine at Cairo Airport

Egyptian Health Minister speaks in a press conference, along with Chinese Ambassador to Egypt and acting Emirati Ambassador Mariam Al-Kaabi, after the arrival of the 1st batch of the vaccine at Cairo Airport

CAIRO – 11 December 2020: Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said Egypt will receive Chinese Sinopharm’s coronavirus vaccine batches in succession and will provided the doses for citizens free of charge, based on the directives of the president.

Sinopharm’s vaccine, according to UAE and Egypt, has an 86 percent efficacy against coronavirus. It has been involved in clinical trials in Egypt over the past few months. Minister Zayed was one of the volunteers.

Her remarks come as she, along with Chinese Ambassador to Egypt Liao Liqiang and acting Emirati Ambassador to Egypt Mariam Al-Kaabi, supervised the arrival of the first batch of the Chinese vaccine at the Cairo International Airport, coming from the UAE.

Zayed said the Chinese vaccine has secured an emergency approval of the World Health Organization, adding that Egypt has signed a deal with the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization to secure the provision of further vaccine doses.

The priority in distributing the vaccine will be given to the medical staff in isolation hospitals, as well as chest and fevers hospitals, she said.

Also, cancer or kidney failure patients, older people and persons suffering from chronic diseases will be prioritized.

The vaccine is injected in the upper arm. It consists of two shots, 21 days apart.

The Chinese vaccine has shown 99 percent efficacy in producing antibodies to the novel virus and 100 percent efficacy in preventing cases from showing moderate or severe symptoms, Health Ministry spokesman Khaled Megahed said.

Chinese Ambassador Liqiang said the Egyptian-Chinese relations have witnessed a big leap over the past years, Egyptian state’s news agency MENA reported.

He said China suffered from a critical phase as a result of the coronavirus, noting that Sisi has sent a message of solidarity to his Chinese counterpart and Zayed paid a visit to China with medical and preventive supplies.

The ambassador asserted that the arrival of the Sinopharm vaccine to Cairo is the best evidence on the strength of such friendly ties between the two countries.

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Daily brief

The Health Ministry reported in a Thursday statement that 445 new coronavirus cases were detected, upping the total number of confirmed cases to 120,147.

Spokesman for the Health Ministry Khaled Megahed said 22 patients have died from the virus over the past 24 hours, raising the death toll to 6,854.

As many as 207 patients were discharged from isolation hospitals after receiving necessary medical care, taking the number of recovered cases to 104,281 so far, the spokesman said.

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