JUBA – South Sudanese health authorities have announced on Sunday that the world’s youngest country will run out of AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine within four days after receiving second batch of the vaccine last month.
This comes just two months after the East African country donated thousands of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines to neighboring Kenya after it was said that it would expire in a few months.
The country received its second batch of 59,520 AstraZeneca vaccines on 31 August through the COVAX Facility, an initiative aimed at equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines globally.
Speaking to reporters during the routine Sunday weekly briefing on COVID-19 at Emergency Operation Center (EOP) in Juba, Dr. John Rumunu, Acting COVID-19 Incident Manager said the remaining AstraZeneca vaccine will be exhausted in the next few days.
“With an average of 2500 doses a day we believe that the remaining doses will be finished in the remaining 4 days, we have deployed 88 percent of all doses we have received,” Dr. Rumunu said.
“The remaining doses now is 11,478 according to the dashboard, more AstraZeneca vaccines is coming, we are expecting to receive more than 48, 000 doses of AstraZeneca soon,” he added.
On March 25, South Sudan received 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine through COVAX Facility, out of which 72000 doses were returned over low uptake and vaccine expiry
On September 14, South Sudan also received 152,950 doses of single-dose Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccines donated by the USA.
He said that the number of people vaccinated so far has reached 105,359 with 75,257 having taken their first jabs and 30,102-second jabs.
He noted that the majority of those vaccinated are males, saying that females only constitute 26.4 percent of the jabs.
According to Boniface Ambani Isindu, the World Health Organization’s Surveillance and Risk Assessment Team leader said the country will continue to use AstraZeneca as long as it is available.
“We will continue with AstraZeneca as long as we continue to receive it, what are expecting to receive about 48,000 doses of AstraZeneca from France soon,” said Isindu.
South Sudan registered 10 new cases in the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of cases confirmed to date to 11,936 with 11,407 recoveries and cumulative deaths have reached 128.