By Seun Adeuyi
Egypt has received its first shipment of a Chinese-made vaccine against the dreaded COVID-19.
According to the state media on Friday, the first batch of the vaccine, developed by the Chinese drugmaker, Sinopharm, arrived late on Thursday at Cairo airport from the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The broadcaster quoted Health Minister Hala Zayed to have said that the vaccine will be made available for citizens of the Arab world’s most populous country.
Zayed said the first doses will be given to health workers as well as tumour and renal failure patients.
The official added that, “The vaccine is 96 per cent to 100 per cent effective in mild and severe cases.”
The state-run newspaper, al-Ahram, reported online that the shipment was offered to Egypt as a gift from the UAE.
It quoted an unnamed health official to have said that the first delivery had 50,000 doses.
On Wednesday, the UAE authorised the Sinopharm vaccine for general use.
So far, Egypt has confirmed a total of 120,147 virus cases, resulting in 6,854 deaths. In recent weeks, an increase in daily infection rates have been recorded, amid warning of a potential second wave of the pandemic.