By Lodu William Odiya
The Catholic Medical Mission Board in collaboration with Central Equatoria State Ministry of health yesterday launched Johnson and Johnson vaccine to fight corona virus in South Sudan.
Speaking during the launch at the Community Health Facility in Gudele Block 4, the undersecretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr. Victoria Anib Majur said, the Ministry of Health decided to integrate Covid-19 vaccination into existing routine immunization and people should always keep the preventive measures.
“It is going to be with us for long, we don’t know for how long, that is why we need to treat Covid-19 like a routine. Wearing facemask should be part of your daily life and avoid crowded places even if you are vaccinated”, she said.
The undersecretary appreciated the government of the United States for providing Johnsonand Johnson vaccine to the people of south Sudan.
She however said the Ministry of Health and the government of South Sudan were committed through other funding to acquire more vaccines.
“We will continue to solicit and lobby for more vaccines to make sure we meet the target. Although we are far behind, with the support from our partners I am sure we will reach that level and be able to give vaccination to our people and all communities vaccinated”, she said.
Meanwhile Dr. Sudhir Bunga, CDC country Director at United States Embassysaid that Covid Vaccines were the main sphere of covid-19 responses because it significantly limited and prevented the transmission of infection and prevented death.
“This is something we need to continuously convey to our communities because these vaccines are the main sphere of preventing the continuous outbreak of the virus globally and in south Sudan”, he said.
Dr. Bunga further added that nearly fifty percent of the world population received at least one doze to prevent the global spread of the virus.
“Every day about 24 Million dozes are being administered globally which is equivalent to two South Sudan countries who are being vaccinated everyday globally, that is why I said the vaccines are safe. Fifty percent of the world population has received this vaccine and everyone is alive”, he said.
Dr.Bunga revealed thatnearly 80 thousand people in South Sudan were vaccinated at least one doze of vaccine and about 30 thousand peoplereceived two dozes of the AstraZeneca vaccinein the last six months.
“it is important to know even though we have covered that much it is still less than one percent of the population, fifty percent of the world is vaccinated by one doze but less than one percent of south sudan is vaccinated in the last six monthsbecause of the delay of vaccines’arrival”, he said.
“We now have Johnson and Johnson vaccine likely different from AstraZeneca, it is a single doze vaccine.One hundred and fifty thousand dozesof single vaccine will cover one hundred and fifty thousand plus individuals and there is no need to come back for the second doze”, he added.