South Sudan to obtain 864,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine

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South Sudanese medical workers demonstrate preventive measures against coronavirus at the National Public Health Center in Juba, capital of South Sudan, April 3 2020. (Xinhua/Denis Elamu)

South Sudan is preparing to import 864,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines in the coming days to strengthen its fight against COVID-19 amid a spike in cases.

John Rumunu, director-general for preventive health services at the Ministry of Health, disclosed Sunday that the first consignment of the vaccine is expected to reach the country from Europe by the end of February.

“I am happy to inform you that we have met all the requirements and we have received information from COVAX that there are 864,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine which has been allocated to South Sudan and depending on the process South Sudan will be able to receive this consignment latest by end of February,” Rumunu told journalists in Juba.

The East African nation has confirmed 57 new COVID-19 cases within the last 24 hours, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 4,492.

The first case of COVID-19 was registered on April 5 last year. The total fatalities stand at 66.

South Sudan in January requested the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) to support it with AstraZeneca vaccines.

Rumunu said once the vaccines arrive, the government will first immunize frontline health workers and people with underlying conditions like diabetes and people living with HIV/AIDS.

In May 2020, Egypt has sent a military plane filled with medical supplies to South Sudan to support the country in its fight against the coronavirus.

The plane also included disinfectants and protective suits for medical staff, as well as large quantities of baby milk to help the East African nation overcome the pandemic. Egypt also set up a medical clinic in the country’s capital, Juba, to support the country’s medical sector.

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