South Sudan received its first consignment of 152,950 doses of the Johnson & Johnson ‘Janssen’ COVID-19 vaccines today. These single dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines are the third batch of vaccine shipments to South Sudan through the COVAX Facility.
The first batch of AstraZeneca vaccines were shipped through the COVAX facility to South Sudan on 25 March 2021 and the second batch of 59,520 AstraZeneca vaccines donated by France arrived on 31 August 2021 and a donation from Sweden is slated for arrival soon.
The COVAX Facility is a global partnership comprised of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF and WHO, that aims to ensure all countries can equitably access COVID-19 vaccines.
“Thanks to the United States Government, the vaccines will ramp up the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination programme to prevent COVID-19 in individuals 18 years of age and older”, said Minister of Health Hon Elizabeth Achuei. “The Johnson & Johnson vaccine is the second vaccine in South Sudan’s programme, while the double-dose AstraZeneca vaccines have already been administered in the country.”
The arrival of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine means that the country has now received a total of 271,200 COVID-19 vaccine doses that are for providing protection against this global COVID-19 pandemic. So far, 120,000 AstraZeneca vaccines had been provided through COVAX. As of Sunday, 12 September, 76,207 having received their first dose while 17,588 persons have been fully vaccinated with two doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine. Thus, 1.3% of South Sudanese adults have received at least one dose while only 0.30% are fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“The Johnson and Johnson vaccines that arrived today in South Sudan will offer an important contribution in the roll out of COVID vaccines by the convenience of a one-shot dose, this will help to reach hard to reach areas of South Sudan and further accelerate the journey back to normalcy. Protecting health workers, teachers and other delivering key social services is key to secure the continuation of services for children. We thank the US government and the COVAX facility. This delivery demonstrates the power of partnership,” said Jesper Moller, UNICEF Deputy Representative.
“Along with other public health measures, vaccines are a vital and powerful tool to win the fight against COVID-19. The arrival of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines is crucial to increase coverage and prevent COVID-19”, said Dr Fabian Ndenzako, WHO Representative a.i. in South Sudan.
While people are waiting to be vaccinated, everybody must contribute to stop the spread of the disease in South Sudan. This means adhering to the simple, yet very effective public health COVID-19 disease prevention measures such as keeping 2 meters distance in public places, wearing face masks and practicing good hand hygiene.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of WHO Regional Office for Africa.