Egypt: Doctors refuse Chinese vaccine


The Egyptian Medical Syndicate monitored rejections among some of its members to have the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm, which the government has started to vaccinate medical staff, with due to lack of trust in the vaccine.

Doctor Karim Mesbah, a member of the syndicate, stated that the syndicate registered a refusal among doctors who preferred to wait for the American Pfizer and the British Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccines. The doctors justified their refusal with lack of confidence in the Ministry of Health, especially given that it has made the vaccine optional.

Some doctors expressed their fears about the Chinese vaccine. One stated that he refused to register his name on the vaccine list and preferred to wait for the provision of other vaccines even if he will have to pay for it.

Contradictory statements

Doctor Khaled Megahid, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, revealed the crisis in TV statements, as he emphasised that 87 out of 200 medical staff accepted to have the vaccine in the quarantine hospital of Abukhalifah in Ismaeliyah governorate after they signed a confirmation consent. Megahid indicated that the vaccination is optional, and whoever has it must sign a confirmation consent. Megahid said: “They have been reassured that we have conducted much analysis into the vaccine in addition to [the fact that the] shipments have been analysed in the Egyptian Drugs Information Centre to assure its safety.”

In a contradictory statement, Doctor Mohamed Hassan, director of the quarantine hospital Abukhalifah, stated that more than 100 out of 200 medical staff members working in the hospital have been vaccinated. Also, he indicated that the rest of them will be vaccinated successively 14 days from now and denied that the ministry had said anything about them being scared.

Doctors prefer medical drugs to vaccines

Doctor Ibrahim el-Zayyat, member of the Medical Syndicate’s council, attributed the refusal of the doctors to have the vaccine to their dependence, especially those who worked in quarantine hospitals, on some drugs scheduled in the approved protocol from the Scientific Committee to Combat Coronavirus as Hydroxychloroquine, which is prescribed to the patients and medical staffs in the quarantine hospitals only, and Ivermectin used to treat parasites and diseases such as scabies. El-Zayyat explained that several doctors that contacted him spoke about the efficiency of the two drugs, especially Ivermectin, both in the prevention from the infection and alleviation of the symptoms in case of infection like vaccines. It’s enabling them to wait for a safe vaccine and not to rush to get the only choice allowed by the government; the Chinese vaccine Sinopharm.

It should be mentioned that the government provides preventive drugs for the medical staff in the quarantine hospitals including Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, and the last one doesn’t exist in pharmacies. The price exceeds EGP 1,000 on the black market, while the Ivermectin is available at EGP 13 (less than $1).

The chaos of the corona vaccines

Last Saturday, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi proudly stated that Egypt has huge quantities of the vaccine, and a new shipment of a new vaccine will arrive in Egypt other than the Chinese one. This contradicts with official statements, as Egypt has only received enough Sinopharm vaccine for 25,000 people, which was a gift from the UAE.

Last Sunday, the Minister of Health announced that it’s expected that Egypt will receive a new shipment of the Chinese vaccine within the upcoming days, without specifying a date for its arrival. The Egyptian Authority for Unified Procurement announced contracting with the manufacturers of the coronavirus vaccines’ AstraZeneca and Oxford to get 20 million doses without any information about the contract’s amount or when it will be provided.