Egypt Kicks Off Vaccine Drive As France Tightens Borders
Muhammad Irfan 1 month ago Sun 24th January 2021 | 09:10 PM
Ismailia, Egypt, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 24th Jan, 2021 ) :Egypt, the Arab world's most populous country, began its mass coronavirus vaccination campaign Sunday, as several large nations struggled with their inoculation rollouts and France imposed new border controls.
A doctor and a nurse were the first to receive the Chinese-made Sinopharm jab in Egypt, after President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said "healthcare workers, followed by those suffering from chronic diseases and the elderly" would be first in line.
France's rule does not apply to those travelling by land, including thousands of cross-border workers.
The country had by Saturday given one million people at least one vaccine dose, Prime Minister Jean Castex said four weeks into the campaign, a relatively slow ramp-up compared with leading vaccinators like Israel.
Isabella Ballalai, vice president of the Brazilian Society for Immunology (SBIM) charged the health ministry with "incompetence" as the country risks running out of doses as well as vital equipment like syringes.
Vaccine-sceptic President Jair Bolsonaro has been accused of raising Chinese hackles with his criticism of the country's CoronaVac shot, with experts saying he may have contributed to supply chain problems.
Thousands of people in several cities mounted protests this weekend demanding Bolsonaro's ouster.
In India, around one-third of people are not turning up for vaccine appointments, with fear of side effects high after reports of a few cases of severe reactions spread widely through the media and messaging services.
"I am very afraid. I hate needles and I am worried about side effects," 17-year-old pharma student Khushi Dhingra said with tears in her eyes as she waited in line for the vaccine at Sharda Hospital in Greater Noida, near New Delhi.
Norway's Institute of Public Health and France's ANSM medicines agency have both said there is no evidence the vaccines were to blame in the deaths of small numbers of nursing home residents who died after receiving them.
In the Gulf, the emirate of Dubai said it had slowed its rollout of the Pfizer-BioNTech jab, faced with a bottleneck in deliveries that has also hit EU countries as Pfizer upgrades a key plant in Belgium.
After a rally in Denmark's capital Copenhagen on Saturday night, police said they arrested two men on suspicion of setting a mannequin on fire made to look like Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen.
"They work like a passive vaccination. Administering these antibodies in the early stages can help high-risk patients avoid a more serious progression," Health Minister Jens Spahn told weekly Bild am Sonntag.
Set to air on Sky Atlantic next year, director Michael Winterbottom said the show would focus on "the efforts of scientists, doctors, care home workers and policy makers to protect us from the virus."