Second batch of AstraZeneca to arrive in Juba tomorrow

Second batch of AstraZeneca to arrive in Juba tomorrow
The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund Health Chief Dr Kenndy Ongwa speaks to journalists at the Public Emergency Centre in Juba. [Sheila Ponnie, City Review]

South Sudan is expecting to receive its second batch of the AstraZeneca doses tomorrow, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund [UNICEF]  Chief of Health Dr. Kenndy Ongwa has said.

“We are expecting to receive [doses] in the country on the 31st of August of this month and then on 1st September we expect to start the vaccine delivery to all the locations,” he said.

Dr. Ongwa said the deliveries of the vaccines to the states will be done by air as they are running out of time for the start of the second jab.

Dr Ongwa said phase one of the vaccination that took place between April and August 2021 reached over 59,000 total vaccinations and most of the recipients were yet to receive the second doses. That group is waiting to get vaccinated after the consignment has been shipped to various locations.

“We are now expecting about 59,520 doses mainly targeting the second dose and probably whatever remains will benefit the ones who will be receiving their first dose,” he said.

“The vaccine to be received will be AstraZeneca which requires two [doses] and that is why we are talking about these doses,” Dr. Ongwa stated.

He said the preparation and the budgets for the second phase has already been accomplished, adding those micro plans and budgets were being translated into a partnership agreement between UNICEF and the partners.

Ongwas said the same people whom they deployed in the phase one vaccination would be the same they agreed to hire in the phase two.

“South Sudan will only have one month up to 30th September to do the vaccinations due to the short expansion nature of the vaccine so that is significant,” he said.