President Abdel Fattah El Sisi visits the Military Academy in Cairo on Saturday- press photo
CAIRO – 12 December 2020: Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El Sisi thanked the United Arab of Emirates (UAE) for sending the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccine, highlighting the distinguished level that governs Egypt's relations with the Gulf states, especially the UAE.
President Sisi’ comments came during his visit to the Military Academy in Cairo on Saturday dawn, talking about how the state managed the crisis of the coronavirus pandemic, through applying precautionary measures, equipping isolation hospitals with the necessity kits, and mobilizing all concerned state agencies.
Egypt has received on Thursday the first shipment of the Chinese-manufactured Sinopharm from the UAE, which has officially registered the inactivated COVID-19 vaccine on Tuesday. According to the UAE news agency WAM, the vaccine has 86 percent efficacy against COVID-19 infection.
Egyptian Health Minister Hala Zayed said on Thursday that 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.
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.