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South Sudan to receive 60,000 doses of Covid-19 vaccines next week

The South Sudan health ministry says it is expecting to receive its second consignment of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility in the second week of August.

Dr. John Rumunu, the Director-General for Preventive Health Service and Acting Incident Manager at the Ministry of Health, addressed the press in Juba on Sunday and said they finished all the paperwork to ensure the vaccines arrive in the country.

“We are not worried about vaccines coming to the country, we already have the AstraZeneca 60,000 doses which will be here in the second week of August to continue with what we have started as we make arrangements for more vaccines to come into the country. We don’t have a date but we are told by a focal point that we shall receive them in the second week of August,” Dr. Rumunu stated.

Dr. Rumunu stresses the importance of taking the vaccines to reduce the severity of Covid-19 infections.

“Vaccines are important not only in reducing transmission but also because it reduces the severity of the disease. If you happen to get the disease after receiving the vaccination, the illness will be mild. But someone who has not received the vaccine can develop a more severe illness and can lead to death,” he said.

He further says South Sudan currently reports an average of nine cases daily.

“Our case count per day considering the seven-day moving average is nine cases per day. That is the average at a positivity yield of 1.9% or 2%. Meaning out of 100 people, at least 2 people are having the disease and if you have 50 people at least 1 is having,” he said.

South Sudan’s Ministry of Health says it hopes to receive vaccines donated by the African Union once the processes to acquire them are over.

Globally, 132 countries have confirmed the presence of the Delta variant and South Sudan is among them according to the country’s ministry of health.

For his part, Dr. Joseph Wamalla, WHO Official for Emergency and Preparedness says COVAX has pledged to ensure 20 percent of all African countries are vaccinated before the end of 2021.

"I know many countries that have had resources to pay money in Africa to pay for vaccines, but they could not access the vaccines because of the supply problem. However, we have a commitment from COVAX, COVAX has pledged that they will be able to deliver vaccines for at least 20% of Africa's population by the end of the year, 2021," he said.

[Source: Radio Tamazuj, South Sudan, 03Aug21]

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