Egypt gets 854,400 doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine -ministry

CAIRO, March 31 (Reuters) - Egypt on Wednesday received 854,400 doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine as part of the global COVAX agreement, the health ministry said.

COVAX was established by the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the equitable distribution of vaccines.

The shipment is part of 40 million doses that Egypt is set to receive via GAVI.

The AstraZeneca vaccine has received approval for emergency use from WHO and the Egyptian Drug Authority, the ministry spokesman said in a statement.

The shipment will be tested in the authority’s labs before the vaccination of medical workers, the elderly, and eligible groups of citizens with chronic diseases, he added.

Egypt had received its first 50,000 dose shipment of the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine earlier this year, as part of its programme to vaccinate health workers.

The country began vaccinating frontline medical staff against COVID-19 on Jan. 24 and expanded its vaccination rollout to include the elderly and people with chronic diseases on March 4. (Reporting by Mahmoud Mourad; Writing by Nayera Abdallah; Editing by Richard Chang)