By Michael Tapeng
South Sudan has received a consignment of 152,950 shots of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the United States of America.
The single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are the third batch of vaccine shipments to South Sudan through the COVAX Facility.
The vaccines which arrived on Tuesday compliments efforts in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 in the country.
“Thanks to the United States government, the vaccines will ramp up the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older,” the Minister of Health, Elizabeth Achuei said in Juba.
“The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the second vaccine in South Sudan’s programme, while the double-dose AstraZeneca vaccines have already been administered in the country.”
According to David Renz, the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires in South Sudan, the donation of the vaccines strengthens the relationship between the people of the United States and South Sudan and comes at a critical time in South Sudan’s efforts against COVID-19.
“This donation, coordinated with key international partners, including Gavi, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization, underscores our collective resolve in responding to the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Renz said in an emailed statement in Juba
The first batch of Astra Zeneca vaccines were shipped through the COVAX facility to South Sudan on 25 March 2021 and the second batch of 59,520 Astra Zeneca vaccines donated by France arrived on 31 August 2021.
A donation from Sweden is also slated for arrival soon.