Citizen taking a jab of Covid-19 vaccine. Photo courtesy of Egyptian health ministry Facebook page.
The doses arrived from France, Sweden, Croatia, Italy, Spain, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Latvia via the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) initiative, alongside the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI), said the Ministry of Health in a statement.
The updated vaccine works effectively against the new variants of COVID-19, including Omicron, said Health Ministry Spokesman Hossam Abdel-Ghaffar, who added that vaccinated individuals can receive booster shots.
The doses will be available in 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.
Those who wish to receive the vaccine should register through the vaccination website.
The Omicron-adapted vaccine (Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, Bivalent) is authorised for use by both the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and EDA.
The updated vaccine targets the spike protein of Omicron BA.1, a variant of worldwide concern.
Earlier this month, Pfizer and BioNTech’s bivalent COVID-19 vaccines gained approval from the FDA for children between six months and four years of age.
The pandemic took a heavy toll on Egyptians in 2020-2021, before subsiding in 2022.
The country has reported 515,852 confirmed infections and 24,819 deaths to the WHO's Eastern Mediterranean region office (EMRO) since the outbreak.
More than 108 million COVID-19 doses have been administered in Egypt, according to EMRO.
In February, Minister of Health Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said more than 56 million doses are still available to be administered.
Over 40 million citizens are fully vaccinated, representing around 39 percent of the country’s 104 million population, the Ministry of Health announced early this year.
At the same time, 8.4 million people had received booster shots. This represents around 33.4 percent of the 25 million individuals the ministry hopes to give boosters to.