What is the difference between the COVID-19 vaccines that Egypt has obtained?
Sinopharm vaccine which uses a virus that is still alive to provoke an immune response. However, the virus has been altered and severely weakened so that it causes few, if any symptoms.
The vaccine’s phase 3 trials are still ongoing, but the efficacy rate is reportedly 79.3 percent, reaching up to 86 percent in some trials. It has a 99 percent efficacy in producing antibodies to the novel virus and 100 percent efficacy in preventing cases from showing moderate or severe symptoms
The vaccine is administered in two doses, three weeks apart, and is kept refrigerated at 2-8 degrees Celsius.
AstraZeneca Vaccine, whose mechanism relies on engineering a harmless virus so that it contains the gene for the SARS-COV-2 spike protein.
Phase 3 trials are completed with an efficacy rate of 62 percent.
It is administered in two doses, 4 weeks apart, and refrigerated at 2-8 degrees Celsius.
Pfizer Vaccine is another vaccine that the government is in negotiations to bring into the country.
Data has shown that the vaccine starts working soon after the first dose and has an efficacy rate of 95% seven days after the second dose. It requires two injections given 21 days apart.
Russian Sputnik vaccine The Egyptian Drug Authority (EDA) announced its approval of the emergency use of the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, making it the third vaccine to be authorized for use in the country.
In September, Russia's Investment Fund (RIF) approved supplying Egypt with 25 million doses of Sputnik via Pharco, which it described as one of the country's leading pharmaceutical groups, Reuters said.
Local reports say that Pharco will start manufacturing the Russian vaccine starting April as per a memorandum of understanding between Biogenix Corporation, an affiliate of Pharco Pharmaceutical Group, and the RIF. In mid-January, the Russian embassy expressed its interest in providing Cairo with the technology needed for manufacturing Sputnik.
What are the possible side effects of the vaccination?
Expected side effects of the Sinopharm vaccine is a feeling of pain, redness, stiffness, and itching where the vaccine was taken, along with fever, headache, fatigue, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cough, allergy, pain in the muscles and joints, and convulsions.
The Egyptian Health ministry said these side effects generally do not require a certain treatment and usually go away without any medication.
Who are not allowed to take the vaccine?
According to guidelines issued by the WHO, the following categories are not allowed to take the COVID-19 vaccine due to either adverse reactions or insufficient research results:
1- People with a history of severe allergic reactions to any of the components of the vaccine.
2- Pregnant or breastfeeding women (insufficient data).
3- Children under the age of 16 (further studies needed).
4- Immune-compromised persons (further studies needed).
What are the vaccines already available in Egypt?
Egypt has 400,000 doses in stock. The first batch of 50,000 doses were supplied as a gift by the Emirati government from Sinopharm in December.
A second 50,000 batch was shipped by AstraZeneca in January. A third batch that includes 300,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, which is the biggest to enter Egypt till now, was supplied by the Chinese government as a gift.
Egypt is set to secure 100 million doses to cover 50 million people, according to the health minister’s statements on the number of targeted shots, in which 40 million doses will be from the Sinopharm vaccine, 40 million doses from Gavi alliance, and 20 million from AstraZeneca.
Speaking about how many will be inoculated in Egypt until the end of 2021, “65 percent of the population are under 30 years, which means that the number of the population who are older than 30 ranges between 35 to 40 million. Our targeted contracts will cover 50 million persons,” according to Zayed’s interview with ON E, a privately-owned TV channel.
Who will get vaccinated first?
· The process of registration for vaccination for citizens started 27th February using the link https://egcovac.mohp.gov.eg/#/home.
· According to the instructions of the website, all vaccine seekers are required to provide personal information, name the governorate where they prefer to get the vaccine, and consent to receive the vaccination before submitting the request.
· The health ministry added that a text message will be sent on mobile phones to people who registered successfully, stating the date and location for receiving the first shot.
· Citizens who cannot access the website could register for vaccination at the nearest hospital, the ministry's statement added.
· The website divided vaccine seekers into three categories: medical workers, chronic disease patients, and elderly without chronic disease.
· In a televised interview, Zayed said the vaccine will be provided to citizens at a low price; LE 100 or less for each of the two doses.
· Citizens included in the cash support program Takaful wi Karama, who are unable to purchase the vaccine, will take it for free.
· After the end of the first quarter of 2021, the ministry will announce a date for other citizens, who are not among the priority groups, to take the vaccine
Where are the vaccination centres?
The 31 announced centers for receiving the vaccines are as follows:
1. Nozha Medical Centre (Cairo).
2. Katamiya Medical Centre (Cairo).
3. Zohour Centre (Cairo).
4. Vacera (Giza).
5. Mit Okba Health Centre (Giza).
6. African Centre for Women’s Health (Alexandria).
7. Somouha Centre for Women’s Health (Alexandria).
8. Nasser Institute (Qaliobiya).
9. Kafr Shokr (Qaliobiya).
10. Kiman Fares Medical Centre (Fayoum).
11. Beni Suef Hospital (Beni Suef).
12. Mubarak Family Medicine Unit (Suez).
13. Sammalout Hospital (Minya).
14. Iman General Hospital (Assiut).
15. Heart and Digestive System Centre (Sohag).
16. Al-Ahrar Hospital (Sharqiya).
17. Foqat Educational Hospital (Qena).
18. Luxor Fever Hospital (Luxor).
19. Aswan Fever Hospital (Aswan).
20. Family Health Unit in Ahya (Red Sea).
21. Kharja General hospital (El-Wadi El-Gedid).
22. Kilin Hospital (Kafr El-Sheikh).
23. Cardiac Hospital (Matrouh).
24. Cardiac and Digestive System Hospital (Damietta).
25. Mansoura International Hospital (Daqahliya).
26. Dinshal Educational Hospital (Beheira).
27. Al-Nasr Hospital (Port Said).
28. Al-Mahalla Institute (Gharbiya).
29. Menouf General Hospital (Menoufiya).
30. Ismailiya Hospital (Ismailiya).
31. Sharm El-Sheikh International Hospital (South Sinai).
What are the steps citizens should expect at the vaccination centre?
The ministry outlined the process for a citizen to obtain the vaccine in 8 steps, as follows:
1. The person shall register to obtain the vaccine through the website or by heading to the vaccination center.
2. The citizen heads for assessment at the time and place specified.
3. Temperature is measured at the facility’s entrance.
4. Citizen shall go to the electronic registration office to review the data, verify the required documents, and receive the informed consent.
5. The explanation what the citizen is consenting to and completing the basic information.
6. Receiving the first dose.
7. Heading to the same place at the specified date for the second dose and following the same previous steps.
8. If any minor or moderate symptoms appear that require medical advice, the citizen must go directly to the post-vaccination clinic.