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Over half a million people fully vaccinated against covid-19

By James Atem Kuir

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Sunday revealed that at least 521,045 people have been fully vaccinated against Covid-19 in South Sudan since vaccines arrived last year.

The country, which reported its first case of Covid-19 on April 5, 2020, kicked off a vaccination drive against the deadly virus in April 2021 after receiving the first consignment of vaccines a month earlier.

The disease has since killed 138 people and infected 17, 286 others in all the 10 states and administrative areas with the exception of Greater Pibor which has yet to report a single Covid-19 case.

Speaking during a weekly news conference on the situation of Covid-19 yesterday, WHO’s South Sudan Covid-19 Incident Manager,Dr. Sacha Bootsmasaid though vaccine uptake has improved in the last few months, the vaccine coverage has remained low with only 3.8 percent of the total population of South Sudan estimated to be fully inoculated.

“As of this (Sunday) morning, we now have 521,045 people in South Sudan fully vaccinated against covid-19. This is more than 520,000 (but) that is still 3.8 percent of the total population. It is still a very low percent,” she said at the public health emergency operation center yesterday.

“And out of those (521,045), 48.2 percent are females…a total of 32,223 healthcare workers have now been fully vaccinated against covid-19 and that represents 92.3 percent of all healthcare workers,” she said.

The WHO official also revealed that more than 6 percent of people at risk of severe illness of Covid-19 have been fully jabbed while 9.4 percent of persons aged 65 and above have received their full dose.

She further stated that the month of February recorded the highest vaccine uptake with more than 150,000 doses administered compared to 95,000 doses given out last month.

DrBootsmaalso said that the government and WHO have pooled together to scale up vaccination in areas that have not been reached with Covid-19 vaccines in earlier campaigns.

The areas include hard-to-reach counties in Lakes, Jonglei, Warrap Upper Nile and Unity states.

According to the WHO, South Sudan has so far 1.1 million Covid-19 vaccine doses since first shipments arrived in the country in March last year through the vaccine sharing initiative, Covax facility.

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