Egypt’s Minister of Health Hala Zayed announced on Tuesday afternoon that registration for COVID-19 vaccination would open for all citizens on 28 February, with priority given to those aged 40 and above and those who are otherwise suffering from chronic diseases.
According to the Minister, anyone who is unable to access the website for registration is also able to register for vaccination at their nearest public hospital. The website to register is located here.
Despite the announcement, it remains unclear exactly what the timeline is for vaccination after registration. To date, it is believed that less than 6,000 people have been vaccinated in Egypt, mostly consisting of frontline healthcare workers.
The announcement on Tuesday came during a joint press conference with the Chinese Ambassador to Cairo, which was held after Egypt received a batch of 300,000 new doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine. The 300,000 doses were provided to Egypt as a “gift” from China. Egypt received an earlier batch of 50,000 Sinopharm doses in December 2020 as a gift from the United Arab Emirates.
Meanwhile, in January 2021, Egypt reportedly received a batch of 50,000 AstraZeneca vaccine doses.
Egypt has signed agreements for millions of vaccine doses from various producers around the world. In December 2020, Egypt’s Minister of Finance said that the Ministry had signed contracts to receive 20 million doses of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine and 30 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine.
However, the timeline for receipt and for administration of vaccinations country-wide remains unclear, with the Ministry attracting criticism for its slow roll-out of vaccinations.
Earlier this month, Egypt’s official death toll from COVID-19 passed 10,000. As of the date of this article, Egypt has officially recorded 178,774 COVID-19 infections, with 138,183 recoveries and 10,404 deaths. The actual number of infections is thought to be higher, with the figures released by the Ministry of Health simply being the number of infections officially recorded at hospitals and health centres run by or under the supervision of the Ministry of Health.
Despite COVID-19 continuing to spread in Egypt, little is being done to crackdown on violations of health and safety measures. Though an EGP 50 fine was introduced to punish anyone not wearing a mask in public, the lack of mask wearing continues to be while spread, large events continue to be held and social distancing is largely ignored in the country of more than 100 million people.