Egypt receives second shipment of Pfizer’s updated Covid-19 vaccine

Egypt receives second shipment of Pfizer’s updated Covid-19 vaccine

A shipment of 685,440 doses of an updated version of Pfizer’s Covid-19 vaccine landed in Cairo on Tuesday night, the Egyptian Health Ministry has said.

The shipment was sent by Spain, Italy and Croatia through Covax, an initiative led by Gavi, an international vaccine alliance that provides immunisations to poor countries.

It is the second shipment of updated Pfizer vaccines to arrive this week after Egypt received 599,040 doses from France and Sweden on Sunday. The first shipment was also part of the Covax programme.

The new dose, known as the adapted bivalent vaccine, was updated to tackle newer variants of Covid-19, particularly Omicron.

A total of two million doses of the updated vaccine are expected to arrive in Egypt this week.

Doses will be sent to vaccine centres across the country after safety tests by the Egyptian Drug Authority, the Health Ministry said.

It urged people to register for booster shots, particularly those who had been previously immunised with non-Pfizer vaccines.

After a drop in infections last year, Covid-19 had largely disappeared from Egyptians’ consciousness.

However, in January, parliamentary health committee chairman Ashraf Hatem said there had been an increase in cases, which, according to him, marked the start of the seventh wave of Covid-19.

Mr Hatem also urged people not to panic as most of the infections recorded in recent months were minor bouts brought on by the Omicron variant.

Egypt reported 515,792 Covid-19 infections and 24,815 deaths since January 3, 2020.

A total of 108,156,977 vaccine doses have been administered in the same period, according to the World Health Organisation.

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