UK donates COVID-19 vaccines to Egypt

3,000 doses of Covid vaccine leave RAF Brize Norton for the Falklands. Photo credit: MOD

The UK has delivered 299,700 doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine to Egypt as part of its efforts to ensure the most vulnerable are vaccinated.

The package donated by the UK was shipped via COVAX, with the support of UNICEF and WHO, and arrived in Cairo yesterday (16 August). This is part of the first tranche of the 100 million vaccines that the British Prime Minister Boris Johnson pledged the UK would share by June 2022 at the G7 Summit in Cornwall, with 30 million due to be sent by the end of the year. At least 80 million of the 100 million doses will go to COVAX.

This donation follows the recent COVAX shipment of 1.7 million doses, which the UK is also supporting. The UK was at the forefront of efforts to establish COVAX in 2020, and has provided a total of £548 million to fund vaccines for lower income countries. The scheme has delivered more than 152 million vaccine doses to over 137 countries and territories, including in 83 lower-middle income countries.

This package, and the UK’s wider support to COVAX, will help meet the need for vaccines in Egypt as the country continues to battle with Covid-19.

The British chargé d’affaires and Deputy Ambassador to Egypt, Qudsi Rasheed, said:

Yesterday, the UK sent around 300,000 vaccines to Egypt, through COVAX, the first batch of the 100 million doses our Prime Minister has pledged we will share with countries around the world within the next year. This is another milestone in our partnership with Egypt to help support the government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and part of the UK’s goal to end the pandemic by 2022.

Dr. Naeema Al Gasseer hailed on the solidarity of UK government’s commitment to protect populations beyond UK and as WHO we appreciate the efforts of the United Kingdom in addition to the national efforts to scale up the vaccine intake by all, ensuring that the largest number of people around the world is covered with COVID-19 vaccines since nobody is safe unless everybody is safe.

UNICEF Representative in Egypt, Mr. Jeremy Hopkins said:

I would like to express our thanks to the UK government for their contribution. The close collaboration between the UK Government as well as our Government partners is critical to ensure we deliver vaccines at speed and protect as many people as possible against this virus. No one is safe until everyone is safe.

The UK has been at the forefront of the global response to Covid-19, including through investing £90 million to support the development of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Over half a billion doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine have been delivered at a non-profit price globally, with two-thirds going to lower- and middle-income countries. Global vaccine demand is far outstripping supply, leaving millions of the most vulnerable unprotected, while higher vaccine coverage worldwide is one of the best shields against new variants.


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