Egypt has not recorded any cases of the new coronavirus variant known as Omicron (B.1.1.529) so far, according to the Ministry of Health and Population spokesperson Hossam Abdel Ghaffar.
Abdel Ghaffar added, in televised statements, that the genetic sequence of the virus is known, and the changes that occurred in this sequence led to the emergence of the last variant.
He stressed that vaccination is still the main tool to prevent severe symptoms and deaths caused by COVID-19, noting that the ministry is working hard to vaccinate citizens, with priority given to groups at high risk.
Omicron was first detected on 23 November in South Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO) Technical Advisory Group on SARS-CoV-2 Virus Evolution had announced Omicron as a variant “of concern”.
Moreover, Egypt’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, and acting Minister of Health and Population, Khaled Abdel Ghaffar announced on Sunday that 3 million and 890,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine produced by Pfizer had arrived at Cairo International Airport on Saturday evening.
Abdel Ghaffar explained that this shipment was delivered through the “COVAX” mechanism in cooperation with the International Alliance for Serums and Vaccines (GAVI), as part of the state’s plan to diversify and expand the provision of vaccines to citizens to preserve the gains in responding to the pandemic.
The “Pfizer” vaccine gained approval for emergency use from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA), and it is taken as two doses separated by 21 days.
The received shipment of vaccines will be subject to analysis in the laboratories of the EDA before being distributed to the 1100 vaccination centres nationwide.
According to the Health Ministry, the shipment of vaccines arrived in Egypt in boxes designated for dry preservation, and will be subject to analysis within a period not exceeding 14 days, before being distributed to vaccination centres.
Abdel Ghaffar pointed out that Egypt was able -in a short time- to provide all the anti-coronavirus vaccines, which included Sinovac, Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, Sputnik, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna, as part of the state’s plan to diversify and expand the provision of anti-coronavirus vaccines.