The Egyptian health ministry is opening larger centers to address the rising demand for COVID-19 vaccinations. The first of such centers will be set up in the capital city Cairo with a daily capacity to vaccinate up to 15 000 people.

At the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Center, the Egyptian health ministry has set up a massive COVID-19 vaccination facility.

Equipped with a well-ventilated waiting area, the center will hold at least 300 people who can comfortably wait for their turn while keeping a safe distance from one another.

Inside, the 3 000-square-meter hall has been divided into 96 clinics, making the facility capable of accommodating 50 times more patients than a regular vaccination center in the country.

“A regular vaccination center has one or two clinics. Few have three or four. There is no other center in Egypt that has such a number of clinics or is as well organized as this one. Here we have 96 clinics and 600 healthcare workers all day. We work 12 hours per day and six days a week,” said Dr. Ashraf El Etreby, manager of Cairo Vaccination Center.

Two teams of 300 health workers each can administer up to 15 000 vaccinations per day. They offer both Sinopharm and AstraZeneca shots, the only two kinds of COVID-19 vaccines available in Egypt so far.

“I was reluctant to apply for vaccination previously because I was worried about crowding which I saw at regular vaccination centers. But I decided to apply when I saw the third wave intensifying. Luckily, I came to this center, which impressed me. When my turn came, there was no one at that clinic except myself. The reception area, as you see, is huge. It is not crowded,” said Hani Shafik, a local resident.

Egypt has acquired more than 5 million COVID-19 vaccines, a little over half of which have been administered so far.

Of the over 400 vaccine centers in the country, the Cairo International Convention and Exhibition Center is by far the biggest. The health ministry says it will soon be launching more of these high-capacity vaccination centers across Egypt.