A file photo of Egyptian cabinet spokesperson Nader Saad (Photo : Al-Ahram)
Earlier on Wednesday, the Egyptian government approved the administration of a third booster vaccine shot to the most vulnerable groups in the country.
According to the Ministry of Health and Population, the booster shots will be made available to patients who suffer from immunodeficiency, patients undergoing immunosuppressive therapy, the elderly, and healthcare workers provided that they took their second shot at least six months ago.
In media statements to Sada Al-Balad TV channel on Wednesday, Saad stated that citizens must register on the ministry’s official coronavirus vaccination website to get the booster shot, adding that it is not mandatory.
The cabinet spokesperson clarified that the booster shot is not related or determined by the type of COVID-19 vaccine taken in the first two shots.
Furthermore, He revealed that there are still 36 million unused vaccine doses that will be utilised in the upcoming period to complete the government’s plan to vaccinate 40 percent of the population as well as provide them with a booster shot.
Saad also stated that the government is studying to reduce the age of vaccination to 12 years old and administer the Pfizer vaccine to underage kids.
Additionally, Saad stated that following an analysis of 100 people who died due to the coronavirus during the current fourth wave of the virus, it was found that 98 percent of them were not vaccinated while the remaining 2 percent died due to chronic diseases.
Egypt has so far administered 44.2 million shots, according to Higher Education Minister and acting Health Minister Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar.
The country launched its mass vaccination campaign in January, setting up over 1,000 inoculation centres nationwide and dozens of mobile clinics with the aim of vaccinating 40 million of its population by the end of 2021.
Earlier on Wednesday, Abdel-Ghaffar stated that Egypt secured a total of 80.5 million doses of all WHO-approved coronavirus vaccines, including both imported and locally manufactured vaccines.
The vaccines currently available in Egypt are: Sinopharm, Sinovac, AstraZeneca, Sputnik V, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, and Moderna.
The country is locally producing the Sinovac vaccine after receiving shipments of its raw materials under a deal with the Beijing-based Sinovac Company.
Egypt is currently experiencing a fourth wave of the virus, which started in early August, but the past few days have seen a slight drop in daily infections.