South Sudan running out of Covid-19 vaccines shortly after returning 72,000 doses

SOUTH SUDAN – Health authorities in South Sudan have warned that the country is running out of AstraZeneca vaccines and supplies are likely to be depleted by 18th of this month.

Angelo Guop, the Ministry of Health Covid-19 Chief of Operations, said there are only 1,820 doses remaining. Two months ago, the country returned 72,000 doses of the vaccine.

South Sudan received 132,000 doses in late March from COVAX, a global coalition that works to ensure fair and equitable access of coronavirus vaccines worldwide and decided to return the doses out of fears they would expire before they are utilized.

“We don’t want to run the risk of [the drug] expiring here in our hands. It will be accounted for, so we are committing back an amount of 72,000 doses so that they are used by someone who can deploy these doses in one week and then once we finish with our 60,000,” South Sudan’s Health Ministry undersecretary, Dr. Mayen Machuot said.

The move was motivated by the reluctance of masses to get the vaccine due to negative influence from social circles. The ministry has, however, done a commendable job on educating the public on the importance of taking the vaccine as well as emphasizing safety of these vaccines.

South Sudan’s Health ministry says only about 50,000 people have so far received their AstraZeneca jabs out of the country’s 13 million people.         

As of today, the country has recorded 10,911 coronavirus cases, 117 deaths and 10,514 recoveries.

The World Health Organization has urged South Sudan to ensure at least 10 percent of its population is vaccinated against coronavirus by September 2021.

Meanwhile, in Nigeria, the primary care agency has announced that they are expecting to receive nearly eight million additional doses of COVID-19 vaccines by the end of August, including from a USA government donation.

Nigeria expects delivery of 3.924 million doses of Oxford/AstraZeneca shots from global vaccine-sharing scheme COVAX and an additional 3.93 million doses of either Pfizer/Biotech or Moderna, donated by the USA government via COVAX.

Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation, recently detected the highly contagious Delta variant, while the governor of its commercial center, Lagos state, warned that it was on the verge of a third wave of infections.

This even as citizens are been urged citizens to abide by “non-pharmaceutical” measures, such as mask wearing and social distancing, to stem the spread of the virus until fresh doses arrived.

Nigeria has recorded 14,550 of mild to moderate adverse reactions to the vaccines but no fatalities linked to the shots.

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