South Sudan launches Covid-19 vaccine
South Sudan on Tuesday launched the Covid-19 vaccination exercise in three centers in Juba.
The launch at the Juba Teaching Hospital was officiated by South Sudan’s Minister of Health, Elizabeth Acuei, who became the first government official in the country to take the vaccine. Dr. Pawil Arop Yor, the acting Director of Juba Teaching Hospital became the first health worker to be innoculated.
The three facilities where the vaccine will initially be available are Juba Teaching Hospital, Giada Military Hospital, and the Police Hospital in Buluk.
Speaking to journalists during the vaccine launch, Minister Acuei reassured that the vaccine is safe.
“Based on the presentation that was done on the 30th of March to President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the leadership of the country, I am here today very confident and happy to tell you all that we are ready to take our vaccination today,” Minister Acuei expressed.
She also commended the health ministry’s partners such as UNICEF and WHO for their continuous support to combat Covid-19 in the country.
In his statement to the press during the vaccine launch in Juba on Tuesday, the World Health Organization Country representative in South Sudan, Dr. Fabian Ndenzako said he was excited to witness the launch.
“I am excited to reach this milestone, to see that now vaccines are being launched and also they are going to be rolled out in South Sudan. Professor Mayen here raised a question whether this vaccine I am satisfied with it,” Dr. Ndenzako said. “But just to assure that these vaccines that we are going to receive or take in a few minutes to come have been prescribed globally and that is why we are continuing to prescribe them, to advocate them and really to ensure that as much as possible all the vast population can access this important tool.”
He further advised the public to continue practicing safety measures even after taking the vaccine.
The government says vaccination for the presidency and senior government officials at the statehouse will be conducted on a different day.
This is the first time the country rolls out the vaccine since receiving the first batch of its 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca from the COVAX facility on March 25.