Egypt begins COVID-19 vaccination drive with frontline medical staff
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt began vaccinating frontline medical staff against COVID-19 on Sunday using the jab developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm). The vaccine will be provided free of charge first to all doctors and frontline workers treating coronavirus patients, then to other medical workers, senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses, Health Minister Hala Zayed said
CAIRO (Reuters) - Egypt began vaccinating frontline medical staff against COVID-19 on Sunday using the jab developed by China National Pharmaceutical Group (Sinopharm).
The vaccine will be provided free of charge first to all doctors and frontline workers treating coronavirus patients, then to other medical workers, senior citizens and people with chronic illnesses, Health Minister Hala Zayed said.
"As soon as each citizen registers, they will take their turn. But you cannot set a timeframe for when this will be, and even the countries that have set a timeframe have not been able to fulfil it, not because they have a problem, but because of the global production issue," Zayed said, adding that Egypt was on track to approve three other vaccines for use.
Egypt has recorded a total of 161,143 cases, including 8,902 deaths, since the pandemic started. Health officials say the real number of infections is likely far higher because of the relatively low rate of coronavirus testing and exclusion of private test results from official figures.
Zayed previously said Egypt was expecting 40 million doses via the GAVI vaccine alliance, covering 20 million of the country's 100 million population.
She said on Sunday the country had secured an additional 40 million vials from one company and 20 million from another, without specifying their origin but bringing the total to 100 million doses.
Abdel Moneim Selim, an intensive care unit doctor and the first to receive the Sinopharm jab, said any risk from the vaccine was lower than the risk of exposure at work.
"I believe (my exposure) is more dangerous than any vaccine you will take, whether it be the Russian or Chinese, or any other vaccine," he said.
"If you have the opportunity to take something safe that is scientifically proven, I think that is a good opportunity."
(Reporting by Mohamed Zaki and Ahmed Fahmy; Writing by Nadine Awadalla; Editing by Aidan Lewis)
This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.
By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States
BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.