South Sudan receives second batch of AstraZeneca

South Sudan receives second batch of AstraZeneca
Some of the boxes of the first consignment of 132,000 AstraZeneca vaccines that arrived at the Juba International Airport (photo credit: Sheila Ponnie/The City Review)

JUBA – South Sudan has received its second batch of AstraZeneca Vaccine of 59,520 doses on Tuesday.

The vaccine will target mainly those who had received their first jab of Covid-19 vaccination.

Addressing Journalists, Elizabeth Achuei, the Minister of Health said the vaccine was safe and has been endorsed for use by the World Health Organization.

The vaccination campaign rolled out on Wednesday in all 10 states, including the three administrative areas.

“The vaccinations in Juba will start tomorrow and there are three main centers, Juba Teaching hospital, Juba Military hospital, and the Police hospital,” Achuei said.

“It is highly recommended that those people who have already received their first jab should get their second jabs and they should take their vaccination card with them so that they can get their jab,” Elizabeth said.

However, she encouraged all citizens to get the COVID-19 vaccine as they expect to distribute more vaccines across the country in the coming months.

Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, World Health Organization (WHO) South Sudan representative said the vaccine is important as it contributes to the fight against COVID-19 in the country.

“The provision of this vaccine to the people of South Sudan contributes to the global equable access of vaccines that are required to effectively fight the pandemic,” Ndezako said.

“The world has set up targets that at least 10% of the priority population should be vaccinated by the end of this year and that by September to December this year at least 30% of the priority group should be vaccinated and by mid-2022 at least 70% of the population should be been vaccinated,” he explained.

Dr. Fabian hinted that the arrival of the AstraZeneca vaccine from the French Government to South Sudan would contribute to the achievement of those targets.

“These vaccines are safe and efficacious in preventing the citizens from COVID-19 and WHO has accepted the use of AstraZeneca vaccine which has been administered in more than 100 countries in the world,” he said.

More vaccines are due to arrive over the next months, according to World Health Organization.

Dr. Fabian encouraged those who received the jab to come for the second dose.

Xavier Vxavier Verjus-Renard, Deputy Ambassador of France to South Sudan, said the donation of vaccines to African countries was important and that they are intended to accelerate the vaccination of priority personnel.

He said supplying the vaccine was not a challenge but how to get the people vaccinated remains the main concern.

“The challenge is to make sure that these doses will be disseminated as soon as possible to all the other parts of the country,” Ambassador Xavier said.