Vaccine outage only 1820 doses of COVID-19 remain

By James Atem Kuir

The ongoing vaccination campaign may soon come to a halt as there are only 1820 vaccines doses left to be administered before  18th July the expiry date, health official said.

In late March, the country received 132000 doses of the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from the global sharing initiative, COVAX, to begin inoculating20 percent of the vulnerable group including health workers, those aged 65 and above, and others with underlying health conditions.

Also, the same month, a consortium of MTN and the African Union donated about 60,000 doses South Sudan but the vaccines expired before use two weeks after they were shifted into the country.

In April, the Ministry of Health kicked off vaccination drive with health care workers in Juba but just weeks into the exercise, the health authorities had to return72000 doses to COVAX over fears they may expire before use as low uptake hit the process.

Addressing a weekly media briefing on Covid-19 yesterday, Dr. Angelo Guop Thon the Chief at the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre (EOC),where Covid-19 tests are being carried out, said over 90 percent of 60,000 doses had been administered with only 1820 doses left until July 18 when they would run out of date.

“We have remained with 1820 doses and these will be finished before the date for expiration,” Dr. Thon said on Sunday, adding that the doses were returned back to Juba from centers where there were low uptake and were now available at the Juba Teaching Hospital, Juba Military Hospital in Giada and Police Hospital Buluk.

He said all the ten states and three administrative areas had been reached with doses for immunization of the priority group.

Covid-19 has so far killed 117 people mostly in Juba while the cumulative positive tally has reached 10,907 as of Sunday July 11, 2021 according the ministry of health daily update. At least one person has been admitted under severe conditions for critical care in the Infectious Disease Unit (IDU), according to the Sunday update.

Late last month ministry announced it had completed all requirements to receive the next batch of 60,000 doses from COVAX facility as part of 864000the sharing scheme, COVAX allocated to the country in February.

Dr. GurachaGuyothe World Health Organization country emergency coordinator said all African countries would expect to receive their allocations from COVAX in the last week of July and the first of August

“For the new consignment, the ministry of health has done all the necessary requirements to COVAX facility and we expect vaccines for most African countries to be available in July and August, in the last week of July and first week of August. So, we are waiting, all paperwork has been done,” he said.

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