By Simon Deng
Low funding, misinformation and insecurity are setting back the COVID-19 vaccine drive in South Sudan, Sacha Bootsma, the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Incident Manager, said.
A contrasting figure however is that the country has vaccinated 85.1 percent of its health care workers, a figure much higher than in other African countries, Bootsma told a press conference in the capital Juba on Sunday.
“The main issues hampering vaccine uptake throughout Africa including South Sudan are the lack of high-level political leadership and commitment, misinformation about vaccines, vaccine hesitancy, insufficient fund arising from under budgeting during national vaccine plan, poor data management or insecurity,” she said.
According to John Rumunu, the Covid-19 Incident Manager at the National Ministry of health, vaccines are being accepted despite the problems.
“We are monitoring and we have daily benchmark to ensure vaccine are rollout, we will be able to finish the Covid-19 vaccines that we have at the moment in the cold chain,” Rumunu told the same press conference.
Over half a million of the 12 million people in the country have received COVID-19 vaccines, Brendan Dineen, the Covax Coordinator at the World Health Organization said.
“We have reached 80 counties target, that is likewise inclusive of three administrative areas of Ruweng, Pibor and Abyei,” Dineen said.
South Sudan confirmed 5 new positive Covid-19 cases on Saturday bringing the total cumulative figure to 17, 011, recoveries are 13,278 and 137 cumulative deaths since the pandemic started in April 2020.