South Sudan gets more COVID-19 vaccines despite low intake

By Simon Deng

South Sudan will have a boost in its COVID-19 vaccine import despite a low intake over the last eight months.

Since the first vaccines were imported in April this year, less than 200,000 people from a country of 11 million have got their doses against the pandemic.

“Regarding COVID-19 vaccination status, we have seen that 141,352 persons have received Johnson and Johnson vaccines and additional 41,911 have been vaccinated with two dose AstraZeneca vaccines, altogether 183,000 people have been vaccinated across the country,” Brendan Dineen, the COVAX Coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO) told journalists over the weekend.

Dineen said about 336,000 Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are scheduled for delivery to South Sudan on Tuesday.

“We wish to continue to vaccinate as many people as possible,” he said.

“There are many more vaccines in the pipelines, additional quantity has been approved, and we are waiting a further 93,600 as well as another 144,000 Johnson and Johnson.” 

The vaccines used in South Sudan are the double shots Oxford AstraZeneca and the single dose Johnson and Johnson. 

All are donations coming mainly from the Global Access Initiative (COVAX), and the government of the United States of America.

Dineen said that nearly 63.6 percent of the health care workers have been fully vaccinated across the country, noting that the vaccination program has reach 69 counties and are present in 240 health facilities with additional mobile outreaches.

Mabior Kiir, the Acting manager for the public health emergency operation center said the public is advised to avoid crowded places, noting that overcrowding is putting people more at risk of contracting Covid-19. 

Sacha Bootsma, the Covid-19 Incident manager for the World Health Organization said that surges in cases is “traveler related” adding that the country has limited capacity to detect Covid-19 cases across the country.

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