Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population Hala Zayed has revealed that 20,000 individuals have registered for the vaccine against the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).
Zayed’s remarks came during the weekly Cabinet meeting, presided over by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly.
During the meeting, the minister reviewed the efforts made by her ministry to confront the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, as well as the position of providing vaccines to citizens.
She said that those looking to take the vaccine have registered through the ministry’s website, and it is expected that a total of 500,000 will have registered by the end of March.
Zayed also reviewed the measures taken by many countries to deal with the third wave of the pandemic. She noted that the Ministry of Health and Population has tended to increase the pace of work on the presidential initiative to follow up on domestic isolation cases, by placing fixed centres in the places most affected.
The minister said that this has been achieved through equipping basic care teams at mobile clinics, and moving them according to the epidemiological situation in all health departments.
She added that continuous monitoring of the balances of medicines and supplies is being carried out, in addition to increasing the supply of oxygen to hospitals to provide strategic stocks.
“The first shipment of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to be supplied by the end of March, and another 3 million doses are expected to arrive by the end of May,” Zayed said.
She added that the Ministry of Health and Population has obtained 350,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, manufactured in China.
Concerns have been raised over potential side effects from the AstraZeneca vaccine, after some European countries suspended the vaccine’s use due to fears that it could cause blood clots.
Zayed, however, said that there are no concerns over the vaccine. The World Health Organization (WHO) said that a few countries have suspended the use of a specific group of the vaccine distributed in Europe as a precaution.
“[The AstraZeneca vaccine] is excellent, just like other vaccines that are used,” Zayed said, citing a WHO spokesperson, “We must continue to use the vaccine, and there is no indication that it is not used.”
Meanwhile, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) said, on Thursday, that there is no indication that the AstraZeneca vaccine against COVID-19, jointly created with Oxford University, is linked to an increased risk of blood clots.
The EMA said, in a statement, that there is currently no indication that vaccination has caused these conditions, which are not listed as side effects with this vaccine.