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Coronavirus: Egypt Receives Third Batch of 1,766,400 AstraZeneca Vaccines through the COVAX Facility

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)

An additional 1,766,400 doses of the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine have arrived in Cairo, Egypt; the Ministry of Health and Population leads on increasing vaccination rates in Egypt with more than 400 vaccination centers opened in the past months.

Last night, Egypt received an additional 1,766,400 COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine doses delivered via the COVAX Facility. This comes as the third shipment after the arrival of the first and second batches delivered by COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX). This delivery will provide an important boost to the on-going COVID-19 vaccination campaign in Egypt.

The arrival of the vaccines is important at this stage to address the lack of vaccine that Egypt, like many other countries, are facing. Egypt has scaled up its vaccination rates in the past months, opening many vaccination centers across the country that have the capacity to vaccinate thousands of people per day.. Egypt is also among the few countries where vaccination is offered not only to Egyptians, but to all people in Egypt, including refugees and migrants.

“Few interventions in the history of public health can compare with the impact of vaccines and their vital role in saving millions of lives. It is our shared responsibility and accountability to protect ourselves, our beloved ones and communities by getting vaccinated”, stated Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer, the World Health Organization (WHO) Representative in Egypt, adding “We need to reach 70 percent of the population vaccinated as a critical milestone to halt the pandemic. We as WHO with our partners including civil society call for equity of vaccine allocation leaving no one behind, fully supporting the government of Egypt’s efforts for vaccine availability and production to cover all the people living in Egypt and beyond”.

“This delivery is important for Egypt as we increase momentum for the deployment of the vaccine nationwide, accompanied by an increase in demand from people in Egypt which is very encouraging.”, said Jeremy Hopkins, UNICEF Representative in Egypt. “Although global vaccine demand vastly exceeds supply, UNICEF, with the generous support of its donors, continues to work hard to support the relentless efforts of the Ministry of Health and Population to contain the pandemic and, in collaboration with a broad range of partners, to mitigate its impact on children who are often hardest hit”, he added.

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.

Ambassador of Canada to Egypt, H.E. Louis Dumas said: “Vaccinating the world against COVID-19 is our best chance of ending the acute phase of the pandemic, because no one is safe until we are all safe. Canada is committed to doing our part to support equitable access to safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines around the world, including Egypt.”

Ambassador Christian Berger, Head of the European Union Delegation to the Arab Republic of Egypt said: “Today COVAX delivered its third shipment of vaccines to Egypt, offering additional access to vaccines for Egyptian citizens. Team Europe is providing €2.47 billion in support of the COVAX facility globally. We will come out stronger together with our partners in Egypt.”

Ambassador of Germany to Egypt, Frank Hartmann said: “Seeing this new vaccine delivery arrive in Egypt with many more to come, is a great joint success. COVAX is not a one-off project, it is an ongoing commitment. Germany as ACT-A's second-largest donor will spare no efforts to further support and advance this powerful multilateral instrument. Only together can we assure a long-term success in our fight against the global pandemic.”  

Ambassador of Italy to Egypt, Giampaolo Cantini said: “Italy is strongly committed in promoting access to vaccinations worldwide, with a specific attention to the MENA region, as shown by our support of COVAX, with an overall pledged financial contribution of over 380 million Euros and a donation of 15 million doses of Covid 19 vaccines before the end of 2021. Furthermore, as President of the G20, Italy has brought at the center of its agenda the need of a multi-dimensional response to Covid. On the 21st of May, in Rome, Italy and the EU co-hosted the Global Health Summit, which has adopted the “Rome Declaration”, containing principles and guidelines to prevent and address future health crises.

Ambassador of Japan to Egypt, Noke Masaki, said “I am delighted to see the arrival of additional doses through the COVAX facility, especially as Japan co-hosted with Gavi the Summit on COVAX in June and announced to contribute 1 billion USD, more than 10 % of that facility. I also hope to see positive impacts of our support through UNICEF for cold storages for vaccines to 760 posts across Egypt by the end of August. Japan’s cooperation to Egypt in the fight against COVID-19 amounts to more than 250 million USD, including the provision of Japanese medical equipment and the support for vulnerable women and children. Japan will continue to support Egyptian efforts under the concept of human security, “Leaving no one’s health behind”.

“An early expansion of vaccine supply is the most necessary short-term prescription to ensure equitable access to vaccines. That is why the Republic of Korea pledges a contribution of a total of US$ 100 million this year, and in 2022 another US$ 100 million in the form of a combination of financial and in-kind contribution to the Gavi COVAX Advance Commitement. I hope this will also be a friendly gesture to our Egyptian people to overcome the pandemic together.” said Korean Ambassador to Egypt, Mr. Hong Jin-wook.

The Swedish Ambassador to Egypt, Håkan Emsgård said: “Bringing an end to the COVID-19 pandemic is the most pressing challenge of our time and “Nobody is safe until everyone is safe”  Global access to vaccines is not just a question of solidarity – without vaccines, there is an increased risk of harmful mutations, the economic recovery will be hampered and years of development risk being lost. This is why Sweden is already one of the world’s largest donors to COVAX.  We will continue to work for vaccine equity with our partners in the EU and beyond to ensure a fairer distribution of vaccines.

The British Ambassador to Egypt, Sir Geoffrey Adams, said: “The arrival of this third COVAX shipment comes at a crucial time, with the pandemic continuing to present challenges as new variants emerge worldwide. I am proud that the UK is one of the largest donors to COVAX, which is providing vaccines to protect millions of Egyptians. The UK is committed to ensuring equitable vaccine access to all.”

U.S. Ambassador to Egypt Jonathan R. Cohen noted, “As a partner of Egypt in the fight against COVID-19, and the largest donor to COVAX worldwide, the United States welcomes the August 13th arrival of another 1.76 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to protect the Egyptian people.”

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 188 million COVID-19 vaccines to 138 participants around the world.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

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United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)
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