Vaccine
Egypt has expressed appreciation to the UAE after the first batch of a Chinese vaccine against COVID-19 arrived in the country. Image Credit: AP

Cairo: Egypt has expressed appreciation to the UAE after the first batch of a Chinese vaccine against COVID-19 arrived in the country.

The first cargo of the Sinopharm vaccine arrived at the Cairo International Airport from the UAE Thursday night.

“With the depth of friendship, fraternity and historical links between Egypt and its brethren in the Emirates, historical friendship with the Chinese people and concerted efforts, we have received the first of the [vaccine] shipments,” Egyptian Health Minister Dr. Hala Zayed said at a press conference.

The official thanked the UAE and China for supporting the Egyptians under the pandemic circumstances.

The minister was one of the volunteers in the clinical trials conducted in Egypt on the Sinopharm vaccine in recent months.

Vaccine priority

Distribution of the vaccine will be free of charge for Egyptians, added the official who was at the airport supervising the delivery of the cargo.

Priority in access to the vaccine will be for medical teams, the elderly and sufferers of chronic disease, she added.

Since the start of December, Egypt has seen an increase in virus cases, with the daily infection rates exceeding the 400 mark for the first time in five months.

On Thursday, the Health Ministry reported 445 more infections and 22 new deaths, bringing the total infections to 120,147 and the overall fatalities to 6,854 in the country of over 100 million people.