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Moving towards safety
Published in Ahram Online on 21 - 09 - 2021

In an effort to urge citizens to get vaccinated and help them register for the vaccine, a 10-day campaign was recently launched by the Ministry of Health. The mobile campaign, which tours the various governorates on buses, is an effort to expand the number of vaccinated people. "So far more than 17,300 citizens have registered during the campaign to get the vaccine," said Khaled Megahed, the spokesman for the Ministry of Health.
According to the latest statistics issued by the Ministry of Health, 8.2 per cent of the population have received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and 4.2 per cent are fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Egypt continues to receive more vaccine doses. On 19 September, 546,400 doses of AstraZeneca were donated by the French government via COVAX. The shipment will be distributed to 781 vaccination centres across the country. In addition, 1,600,000 doses of Pfizer will arrive in the coming few days.
Moreover, according to Minister of Health Hala Zayed, Egypt has already manufactured five million doses of Sinovac, 2.5 million of which will be released this week. Starting November, the new VACSERA plant will be producing 300,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccine daily, confirmed Zayed.
Zayed noted that Egypt's total doses of the Covid-19 vaccine had reached 17 million, using AstraZeneca, Sinovac, Sinopharm, Johnson & Johnson, Moderna, Sputnik, and Pfizer. In addition, five million doses of Sinopharm will be arriving by the end of this month.
According to Megahed, UNICEF via COVAX has sent to Egypt 20 refrigerators, part of a total of 63 refrigerators, to store Pfizer which needs to be stored at -15 to -25C.
The government is also ensuring that various sectors are vaccinated. University faculty and students are among those targeted. Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Khaled Abdel-Ghaffar said there were 290 vaccination centres in 60 universities. He said around 300,000 dozes were provided to students, faculty members, their assistants and workers.
Similarly, vaccination is at full throttle in the tourism sector. Adel Al-Masri, head of the Chamber of Tourist Establishments, said that 60 per cent of restaurants and tourist shops workers in several governorates have been vaccinated. "One hundred per cent of all workers in Hurghada and Sharm El-Sheikh have already been vaccinated," Al-Masri said.
He stressed the importance of vaccinating all tourism workers against Covid-19, while touristic facilities and restaurants continue with their commitment to apply all precautionary measures, as this will contribute to increasing the turnout of customers.
A statement issued by the World Health Organisation (WHO) encouraged the countries who have the vaccines to increase their support to other countries in an act of solidarity "since no one is safe until everyone is safe. Our global target as WHO is to support every country to vaccinate at least 40 per cent of its population by the end of this year, and 70 per cent of the world's population by the middle of next year," the statement said.

*A version of this article appears in print in the 23 September, 2021 edition of Al-Ahram Weekly

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