Egypt receives first shipment of modified Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19

Ahram Online , Monday 20 Mar 2023

Egypt received the first shipment of the adapted bivalent Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19, said the Ministry of Health and Population on Sunday, adding that the cargo contained around 599,040 doses.

An Egyptian medical worker
File Photo: An Egyptian medical worker administers a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine (Covishield) on March 4, 2021 in Cairo on the first day of vaccination in Egypt. AFP


The shipment, delivered by Sweden and France via the COVAX Facility, is part of a total of two million doses expected to be delivered within a week, the ministry added.

The new vaccine works effectively against the new variants of COVID-19, including Omicron, said health ministry spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, adding that vaccinated individuals will receive a booster dose.

The modified vaccine will be available at vaccination centres across the country after being tested by the Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA), Abdel-Ghaffar added, as the country seeks to diversify and expand its supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

The state spares no effort to provide vaccines to citizens nationwide for free, Abdel-Ghaffar said.

The adapted vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent) is authorised for use by both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and EDA, added the statement.

The vaccine was originally released in September 2022 and soon approved by both the WHO and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Those who wish to receive the vaccine should register through the vaccination website, according to the statement.

The pandemic took a heavy toll on Egyptians in 2020-2021 before it subsided in 2022.

The country has recorded 515,792 infections and 24,815 deaths since the outbreak, according to WHO's Eastern Mediterranean region office (EMRO).

Egypt began the process of administering booster shots for fully vaccinated individuals in December 2021.

About 39 percent of the country’s population are fully vaccinated, according to EMRO.

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