Egypt’s public prosecution office announced Sunday that it had arrested three people in connection with the dumping of thousands of COVID-19 vaccines along a water channel.
More than 18,000 vaccine packages, originally bound for the city of Minya, south of Cairo, went missing. An additional 5,000 packages were lost because they had been stored at the incorrect temperature, the report said. The missing packages were found along the channel’s banks in the province of Bani Mazar, north of Minya. The dumped vaccines were worth approximately 5 million Egyptian pounds.
The missing vaccines had been given by an authorized pharmacist to the driver of a Health Ministry vehicle for delivery. Both the pharmacist and the driver, along with an official at the health directorate for Minya, were taken into custody after giving conflicting accounts of what happened. The statement said that the pharmacist and official would be held responsible for gross negligence.
Egypt aims to vaccinate 40 million people out of its population of 100 million by year’s end, but it has struggled to reach that goal because of supply delays and vaccine hesitancy.