Egypt receives first batch of Sinopharm coronavirus vaccines

JOEL SAGET / AFP

Egypt received its first shipment of vaccines developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm) late on Thursday and will get more deliveries soon, health officials said.

The shipment arrived at Cairo airport from the United Arab Emirates, which has been carrying out phase III clinical trials of the vaccine.

The UAE health ministry said this week that the Sinopharm vaccine had 86 per cent efficacy, citing an interim analysis of the late-stage clinical trials.

The vaccine has already been used on about 1 million people in China in an emergency programme.

In Egypt, the vaccine, taken in two doses 21 days apart, will be free of charge and the government will prioritise vaccinating medical staff and people with chronic diseases, health officials said.

It was unclear how many doses of the vaccine Egypt had ordered, but the health minister said there would be more shipments in the days to come.

Egypt, with a population of more than 100 million, is a large market for vaccines. In September, Russia announced a deal to supply Egypt with 25 million doses of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Egypt's government has confirmed relatively low numbers of coronavirus infections, partly due to limited public testing, but has been warning of a second wave of the pandemic as daily infections have risen in recent weeks. 

As of Wednesday, the health ministry had announced 119,702 coronavirus cases and 6,832 deaths.

More from International

Coming Up on Dubai Eye

  • Off Script with Chris, Robbie & Sonal

    5:00pm - 7:00pm

    The UAE’s alternative take on news, entertainment and sport. Join Chris, Robbie and Sonal as they cut through the clutter to bring you the news, entertainment and sport stories that actually matter.

  • Extra Time

    7:00pm - 8:00pm

    Chris & Robbie bring you the latest from the sporting world plus interviews with upcoming and legendary sporting stars.

BUSINESS BREAKFAST LATEST

On Dubai Eye