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WAU - 4 Jun 2021

W. Bahr el Ghazal state receives Covid-19 vaccines

The ministry of health in Western Bahr el Ghazal State on Thursday received a consignment of 2,690 doses of the Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccine from the capital Juba.

According to state health officials, the initial target group to take the vaccination are state government officials and frontline health workers slated for 10 June. 

Dr. Vincent Taban, the state minister of health, said: “The target for the vaccines is the frontline health workers. The top government officials will also get their first jab. This is a demonstration of leadership for the rest of the people to start taking the vaccines.”

The minister also said that elderly people who are living with underlying diseases and those who are vulnerable are encouraged to take the Covid-19 vaccine.

“The elderly and people who may be living with secondary underlying diseases are also more vulnerable, so we are advocating that all of them should come and take the vaccine,” Dr. Taban said. “Regarding whether the vaccine is safe or not, I can assure the public that the vaccine is safe as AstraZeneca is not the first. All the regional countries are using it. So we can assure the public that the vaccine is safe.”

The health minister said the vaccination center will be at the Wau Teaching Hospital.

For his part, the director-general in the state health ministry, James Ambrose Uchin, welcomed the arrival of the Covid-19 vaccine in the state.

“We are now at Wau Airport in Western Bahr el Ghazal State for the arrival of the plane that brought to us the vaccines and all items of vaccination for the state,” Uchin said. “Let us thank God that the dream has come true. The numbers of the dosages are 2,690, which are approximately 290 containers and each contains 10 injections of AstraZeneca vaccine.” 

He thanked all the partners who participated in the shipment of the vaccines from Juba to Wau. 

This is the first consignment of the Covid-19 vaccine that the undersecretary of the national ministry of health in Juba, Professor Mayen Achiek, promised last April will be sent to Wau. Last month, he admitted that logistical challenges delayed the shipment of vaccines to Western Bahr el Ghazal state.

A couple of weeks ago he said South Sudan was sending 72,000 doses of the Astra-Zeneca vaccine to Kenya because the former failed to absorb them on time. He qualified that it was a normal arrangement and that South Sudan would ask for more vaccines when needed.