Middle East

Egypt receives first batch of J&J COVID-19 vaccines

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A vial labelled "Johnson&Johnson coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccine" is seen in this illustration picture taken May 2, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

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CAIRO, Aug 9 (Reuters) - Egypt on Monday received its first shipment of one-shot Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) COVID-19 vaccines, obtaining 261,600 doses in cooperation with the African Union, the health ministry said.

The J&J vaccines will be distributed to 126 vaccination centres specifically for those who want to travel abroad, Khaled Megahed, assistant health minister for media and ministry spokesman, said in a statement.

Egypt recently began locally producing Sinovac's COVID-19 vaccines, through a deal between the Chinese company and Egypt's Holding Company for Biological Products and Vaccines (VACSERA).

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The country has also received shipments of the Sputnik, Sinopharm and Oxford-AstraZeneca shots, including via COVAX, a global agreement established by the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance and the World Health Organisation (WHO) for the equitable distribution of vaccines.

Egypt is reporting 54 new infections on average each day, 3% of the peak, with the highest daily average reported on June 19, according to the Reuters COVID-19 Tracker. The country has reported 284,641 infections and 16,566 coronavirus-related deaths since the pandemic began.

Egypt's prime minister said in June the government's aim was to vaccinate 40% of the population of more than 100 million against COVID-19 by the end of this year.

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Reporting by Yousef Saba Editing by David Holmes

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