By Simon Deng
South Sudan’s Health Ministry is set to receive its second batch of AstraZeneca, the COVID-19 vaccine from Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization through the COVAX facility in the first week of August, the health authorities have confirmed.
John Rumunu, the Director General for Preventive Health Services revealed to the media in Juba during weekly briefing on coronavirus Sunday.
“We expect the next batch to arrive in the first week of August. The 60,000 doses will come from the COVAX facility.
“The first batch of the vaccine is expiring on July 18. We are remaining 9,222 doses and we have like two weeks, 14 days remaining for the vaccine to expire,” said Rumunu.
South Sudan receives 132,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine from Global Alliance for Vaccine and Immunization (GAVI) through the support of the COVAX Facility on March 25, with vaccine shipment scheduled to arrive in South Sudan by June.
Rumunu said that the 72,000 doses of the vaccines which were returned to COVAX facility were banked, noting that it was put in the pool and South Sudan is getting the 60,000 from the pool.
He noted that the vaccination was going on well across the country
“We are doing well with vaccination, in terms of whether or not we will finish the remaining vaccines before the expiry, and of course, there is no doubt that we are going to finish it because the current daily yield is above 1000,”said Rumunu.
At least over 50,778 people have so far received the AstraZeneca vaccine across the country.
The first jabs receivers account for 47,037 and the second dose is 3,741.
The first shipment was supported by COVAX facility with a target of reaching out to health care workers as well aa older people and those with underlying health complications.