Egypt receives second shipment of 1.77 million COVID-19 vaccines through the COVAX facility
- An additional 1.77 million doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine have arrived in Cairo, Egypt.
- The Ministry of Health and Population leads on scaling up vaccinations in the country while Egypt faces a third wave of COVID-19.
CAIRO, 13 May 2021 – Today, Egypt received 1,768,800 COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine doses delivered via the COVAX Facility. This comes more than a month after the arrival of the first cluster dispatched by COVAX, containing 854,400 doses. To date, Egypt has been allocated to receive a total of 4.5 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX).
This new delivery is particularly important as Egypt is facing a third wave of COVID-19. Under the leadership of the Ministry of Health and Population, vaccination is now open to all population over 18 years old with priority being given to healthcare workers, elders and people with chronic disease.
Globally, as of 11 May 2021, there have been 158,651,638 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including 3,299,764 deaths, reported to WHO. As of 10 May 2021, a total of 1,206,243,409 vaccine doses have been administered.
Dr. Hala Zayed, Minister of Health and Population, announced “The reception of one million and 768 thousand and 800 doses of the emerging corona virus vaccine produced by AstraZeneca at Cairo International Airport on Thursday morning, as the second batch in the COVAX agreement in cooperation with the International Vaccine Alliance (GAVI). This is among the 40 million doses that will be received in succession.”
Dr. Hala Zayed also thanked the World Health Organization and UNICEF for their continuous support to Egypt in its plan to address the emerging Corona virus pandemic, and to continue this support with the arrival of the second shipment of Corona virus vaccines to Egypt as part of the COVAX agreement, stressing the importance of cooperation with partner international organizations in the response to this pandemic.
“Fair global distribution of COVID-19 vaccines with the lens of equity is our goal as part of COVAX Facility. The more the people who are vaccinated, especially the most in need in vulnerable groups, such as front line healthcare workers and service providers, the elderly, and people with chronic diseases, the fewer the number of the people who will be exposed to infection, hence we can dramatically halt the spread of the disease in the communities and thus beaming a light of hope in the dark pandemic’s tunnel.
We as WHO value the efforts of the Ministry of Health and Population in expanding the vaccination centers network all over Egypt to facilitate and accelerate the process of vaccination. Early this month, the largest vaccination center in the country was opened at Cairo convention center in Nasr city with the capacity to serve 10,000 person per day. It’s time for everyone to register on the Ministry of Health and Population website and receive COVID-19 vaccine to protect ourselves and our beloved ones.” Dr Naeema Al Gasseer, WHO Representative in Egypt
“The impact of COVID-19 has been devastating all around the world, particularly for the poorest families in low and middle income countries. Accelerating equitable access to the vaccine is of paramount importance. The arrival of this second batch of COVAX facility vaccines will help ensure that the most vulnerable families are protected and able to be an active part of the recovery at community level. Children have suffered inordinately over the last year as schooling and access to basic services have been severely disrupted, and with unmeasurable impact on mental health and wellbeing. UNICEF and partners continue to work with the generous support of development partners to support the relentless efforts of the Ministry of Health and Population and other key ministerial partners to contain and mitigate the impact of the pandemic”, said Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt.
COVAX is co-led by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), working in partnership with UNICEF as well as the World Bank, civil society organizations, manufacturers, and others. COVAX has so far shipped over 54 million COVID-19 vaccines to 121 participants around the world.
The establishment of the COVAX Facility represents a collective recognition of the need for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines. On behalf of all those who will be vaccinated through COVAX in Egypt, MOHP, WHO AND UNICEF extend thanks to the governments from Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Canada, Colombia, Denmark, Estonia, European Union, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Kuwait, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Norway, Netherlands, New Zealand, Philippines, Portugal, United Kingdom, United States of America, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Qatar.
“As the world’s biggest donor to COVAX, the United States is helping ensure equitable vaccine access. We’re thrilled to see the arrival of another 1.77 million COVAX COVID-19 vaccine doses in Egypt today. Vaccines are crucial to ending this pandemic, and the U.S. is donating $11B to support COVID-19 response.”, said U.S. Ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Jonathan R. Cohen
“The European Union, through its Team Europe initiative, continues to partner with Egypt against Covid-19, as 1.77 million additional doses of Astra Zeneca are reaching Egypt today. Very recently, we celebrated Europe Day (9th of May), carrying a message of solidarity within the EU, and by the EU, with our partners around the globe. This shipment is among the largest undertaken in the MENA region and in Africa. COVAX deliveries to Egypt are to reach a total of 4.5 million doses soon. Team Europe remains at the forefront of global efforts against the pandemic, with a €2.47 billion contribution to the COVAX initiative to help secure 1.3 billion doses of vaccination for 92 low and middle-income countries by the end of 2021”, said Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to Egypt.
“I am very pleased to see the arrival of another COVAX vaccine delivery to Egypt. It shows that our ongoing multilateral commitment in the fight against the pandemic bears fruits and gives reason for hope -every vaccinated person brings us closer to returning to normalcy. The multilateral path of cooperation and solidarity is the right answer to this global challenge, and we must not slacken in our joint efforts until there is safety for everyone.”, said Dr. Cyrill Nunn, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Egypt.
Sir Geoffrey Adams, British Ambassador to Egypt, said: “I am delighted to see that the COVAX scheme is continuing to deliver. This second shipment of 1.77 million vaccines, only one month after the first, will help people here in Egypt who need it most: front-line medical staff, those in higher risk categories, the elderly. It will save lives. We must all work together to overcome COVID-19, and it is a responsibility the UK takes very seriously. I’m proud that, as a major donor to the COVAX facility, we are working to ensure vaccine access for all.”
“We need more cooperation and international solidarity to address the global crises of our time. Sweden is now the largest per capita donor to COVAX and on top of that Sweden donated another 1 million doses to COVAX earlier this week. We will continue to work for vaccine equity with our partners in the EU and beyond to ensure a more fair distribution of vaccines. No one is safe until everyone is safe.”, said Mr.Per-Axel Frielingsdorf, Chargé d’affaires at Swedish Embassy in Egypt.
“Japan has worked to formulate the COVAX Facility, already contributed 200 million US dollars, and will co-host with the Gavi in June “Advanced Market Commitment Summit” to strengthen this international mechanism to ensure and accelerate equitable access to vaccines regardless of income level. Japan also decided to extend “Last One Mile Support.” In Egypt, Japan will provide 760 vaccination posts in Egypt with cold-storage facilities through UNICEF to deliver vaccines to each and every person. We will continue to work under the concept of human security, “Leaving no one’s health behind.”, said Mr. NOKE Masaki, Ambassador of Japan to Egypt.
Notes to Editors
LINK: Download multimedia content including photos and B-roll of the vaccines landing in Cairo, Egypt after being transported by UNICEF (Additional Multimedia material will be updated a.s.a.p).
List of donor pledges to the Gavi COVAX AMC is available here.
COVAX is working to ensure that all countries participating in the Facility (currently 190 including Egypt) have equitable access to at least 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021. The additional consignments of the vaccines for Egypt are expected to arrive in the second quarter of 2021.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org/egypt/.