A nationwide campaign launched 15 September by Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly to promote vaccination against coronavirus has been met with wide public response.
The campaign is run by the Ministry of Health under the rubric “Together we can feel safe … Apply now”, and aims at persuading the public to directly submit an official application to get the coronavirus vaccine, ensuring they would get vaccinated swiftly. Until 25 September, the campaign is expected to have taken off in Egypt’s 27 governorates. Till 20 September 30,244 individuals from 12 governorates applied for the vaccine.
The campaign operates through medical convoys that visit the governorates one by one to raise public awareness on vaccination, and post applications for the vaccine on the Ministry’s website. Following an initial decision that the campaign should run for 10 days in each governorate, Health Minister Hala Zayed extended that duration to a month in every governorate in view of the large numbers of applicants.
The medical convoys include nine open-top buses in addition to a number of adequately equipped vehicles. On board are trained Health Ministry staff that explain all about the virus and COVID-19, and assist the public in the application process for the vaccine.
Convoys tour regions from 10am to 10pm, stopping at various public venues such as squares and intersections that see large crowds, bus and train terminals, and youth and sports centres.
The vehicles carry social networking teams trained to reply to people’s queries and offer them assistance. Once an application is posted for the vaccine, the applicant directly receives a text message referring him/her to the nearest vaccination centre to take the first jab. Applicants are given in kind gifts as encouragement.
The Ministry of Youth and Sports teamed up by opening its sports centres in the governorates the campaign buses are touring to be used as vaccination centres for the duration of the campaign, in order to avoid overcrowding in the Ministry of Health’s vaccination centres.
Dr Zayed said that the campaign aims to reach the largest number of Egyptians in order to facilitate access to the vaccine. This, she said, comes within the State’s plan to vaccinate 40 per cent of the target groups before yearend, and to raise awareness among citizens of the importance of vaccination. The campaign, she said, aims at changing the minds of those reluctant to take the vaccine.
According to Health Ministry figures, some 13.4 million doses of coronavirus vaccines have been administered to Egyptians so far, and some
617,000 QR-coded certificates have been issued for people planning to travel.
Last May and June, Dr Zayed said, those who work in the tourism sector nationwide were vaccinated, in order to ensure safe tourism.
This September, all staff and workers in the education field and those in auxiliary jobs in schools and universities are being vaccinated. This, the Health Minister said, comes in accordance with an agreement with the ministers of education and higher education, to ensure a safe on-campus school year; no unvaccinated person will be allowed on school premises. The vaccination process started early September; public schools open for the new scholastic year on 10 October, by which time all those working in or with schools should have been fully vaccinated. Their numbers are around 3 million persons, according to the Health Ministry.
Egypt has received 3.5 million doses of COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine this week, and expects 1.6 million doses of the Pfizer vaccine on Friday 24 September, the Ministry declared in a statement.
The country has received a shipment of 20 refrigerators to store Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine, which will be received in the coming period, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) Egypt in a recent statement.
The shipment was delivered by UNICEF through the COVAX facility, the statement added, noting that the delivered refrigerators are the first shipment out of a total of 63 refrigerators that Egypt will receive in the coming period.
With regard to the local manufacturing of COVID-19 vaccine, Dr Zayed said that 5 million doses have been manufactured so far, of which 2.5 million doses will be released this week. She noted that 2 million doses of vaccine will be produced weekly. An additional vaccine production line in Giza will start operation in November, with a production capacity of 300,000 doses a day.
During the period from 11 to 30 September, about 17 million doses of various COVID-19 vaccine types, including AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sputnik, and Pfizer, will arrive to Egypt.
The most recent daily figures detected by the Health Ministry in Egypt of COVID-19 cases has been 653 and 19 deaths. This brings the tally to 296,929 cases among whom 250304 recovered, and 16970 deaths.
20 September 2021