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Updated 2 February 2021

One of the worst-hit countries in Africa, Egypt has recorded over hundreds of thousand of cases, with fatalities still on the rise. The COVID-19 vaccination program, however, brings hope of the normal port-COVID life.

Here is everything you need to know about the Sinopharm vaccine in Egypt.

How does the Sinopharm vaccine work?

There are currently three prevalent types of vaccines being developed in regards to COVID-19. In layman’s terms, these are inactivated virus vaccine, weakened virus vaccine and mRNA vaccine.

Sinopharm relies on the older but tested inactivated virus technology, which involves taking dead coronavirus and injecting them into the body. The process essentially forces the body to produce antibodies against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

Once vaccinated, the immune system will be able to respond to an infection of live coronaviruses. Antibodies can stick to and prevent the invading virus from entering the cells in the body.

How effective is the Sinopharm Vaccine?

Based on the available data, the Sinopharm vaccine is reported to have 100 percent protection from moderate and severe forms of Covid-19. Its overall efficacy rate is 86 percent.

Dr. Walid Zaher, chief research officer and vaccine project leader of G42 Healthcare said that taking the vaccine will “prevent you completely from having any severe or moderate side effects from Covid-19.”

Furthermore, Sinopharm’s clinical trials have demonstrated that inactivated coronavirus injections do provide protection to people against Covid-19. However, there’s really no telling how long the protection will last.

There may be a possibility that the level of antibodies would drop over the course of months. But on the flip side, there’s a chance that the immune system would retain information on the coronavirus for years (or even decades) due to the special properties of the memory B cells.

Are there any known side effects?

According to Bahrain’s National Medical Taskforce for Combating the Coronavirus, the side effects associated with vaccination in volunteers include pain at the injection site, headache, high temperature or fatigue.

These symptoms are expected to last at most 24 hours. Furthermore, these side effects can easily be managed through the use of over-the-counter pain relievers.

Sinopharm vaccine in Egypt

Egypt was the first country in the continent to receive the shipment of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine in late December, even before it got approved by the authorities.

Who’ll get the Sinopharm shots first?

The vaccination program will give priority to medical teams at the isolation, fever, chest, and screening hospitals, followed by kidney failure and cancer patients, and then the elderly. The general population will be last in line.

Where to get the Sinopharm shots in Egypt?

The authorities have allocated 34 vaccination centres, scattered throughout the country. The vaccine rollout started with isolation hospitals, but further details of the inoculation program are yet to be clarified.

How much will the Sinopharm vaccine cost?

As of now, the jabs are being administered free of cost to the medical teams.

Registering for the jabs

Near the end of January, Egypt launched its website for online registration for COVID vaccination and it will soon be up and running for the public.

According to Egypt’s Minister of Health and Population, Hala Zayed, the online portal will “neutralise the human element in the process, and to ensure the system’s governance in order to increase confidence between the state and the citizen.”