MoH flags off J&J vaccine administration

MoH flags off J&J vaccine administration
Victoria Anib Majur, Undersecretary, Ministry of Health (photo credit: Alex Bullen/The City Review)

The Ministry of Health and its partners yesterday launched a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine, Johnson and Johnson (J&J) to boost the fight against the deadly virus.

Last month, South Sudan received 152,200 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The consignment came as the government had taken the immunization exercise of the COVID-19 AstraZeneca vaccine to the state level.

Speaking during the official launching in Juba, the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health Victoria Anib Majurn said it was high time for everyone in the country to get a single-dose vaccine.

“South Sudan has now vaccinated less than100,000 people in almost less than 1 percent of the country’s population which is estimated at 13million, just like a drop in an ocean,” she revealed.

Ms. Anib attributed low turnout for the COVID-19 vaccine to the negative social media rumors about its effects.

“COVID-19 vaccination is safe for women, they do not cause infertility to women. So, my fellow women, this is a special message that you need to take from me,” she assured

“I am calling on our sisters and mothers in the country to come and take the vaccine and refute the rumors that the COVID-19 vaccines cause infertility.”

She encouraged the citizens to turn up for vaccination to convince the donors to provide more vaccines to the country.

“So, I would like to take this opportunity to request everyone as an individual to look at the family level and encourage them as well as at community levels. [You should] encourage them to come out for vaccination,” Anib said.

However, she reiterated the government’s commitment to continuing acquiring more COVID-19 vaccines in the country to make sure every South Sudanese gets vaccinated.

The South Sudan World Health Organisation Country Representative Dr. Fabian Ndenzako hailed the launch of the J&J COVID-19 vaccines as a breakthrough for the country’s fight against the virus.

“The launch of Johnson and Johnson is a milestone in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan, thanks to the government of the United States of America,” Dr. Ndenzako said. 

He said the launch of J&J would strengthen South Sudan’s contribution towards achieving the fight against the disease.

The World Health Organisation, UNICEF, The World Bank, Centre Disease Control, and the United States officials all took part in the launch of the vaccination campaign yesterday.

The consignment came as the government had taken the immunization exercise of the AstraZeneca vaccine administration to the state level.

Unlike the AstraZeneca vaccine which is taken twice, Johnson & Johnson is inoculated once.

Statistics from the Ministry of Health reveal that less than half of the total population in the country have been vaccinated with women accounting for low turn up, a situation officials said was driven by misinformation on the side effects of the vaccine.