UNICEF issues rallying call over COVID vaccination drive

UNICEF issues rallying call over COVID vaccination drive
Minister of Health, Elizabeth Achuei getting her first jab after the arrival of the first lot of AstraZeneca in Juba (photo credit: City Review)

JUBA – UNICEF South Sudan has called on the citizens to take the COVID-19 vaccine arguing it is the safest bet against the virus.

It said despite thousands of people who turned up to receive the vaccine in the three different locations within Juba, there was a need for everyone to go for it before the expiry date on September 30.

The 59,520 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines received from the government of France are due to expire by September 30, 2021.

“On the 7th of September, all vaccines should go to the vaccination sites because the life span of the vaccine is up to the 30th of this month.

“The vaccination had started Wednesday and it is ongoing in every location we can just move on, our projection is to complete the vaccination in two weeks,” UNICEF Immunization Specialist for South Sudan, Dr. Samuel Pati said.

He was speaking during the UN-owned Radio Miraya morning show yesterday.

“We have series of vaccines coming now we have received the vaccine from France. We have another consignment of 60,000 doses of AstraZeneca of vaccines to come from Sweden and the date of arrival is not yet confirmed and we have Johnson and Jonson to arrive soon which is only a single dose,” he added.

Pati said Thursday that they were able to deliver out 2,640 doses to the three hospitals and 9,280 doses to the states that include Bor, Kuajok, Maban, Malakal, and Rumbek.

“Today we have started distribution to the five locations 10,512 doses to Pochalla, Rumbek, Rubkona, Yei, Wau and Yirol meaning from yesterday and today the total of 24,360 doses so far have been distributed that was about 40 percent of the doses we have received already gone out and we have left with 35,160 doses to be distributed across the country,” Dr. Pati explained.

He said by September 7, they should have completed the distribution and nobody should be left out without getting the vaccination.

“We don’t want anybody to be left out and our policy first come first serve anybody interested can just come to sites and will be given the vaccination,” he said

However, he said did not have the data of those who have received the second jab but said more than a thousand individuals were vaccinated.

According to UNICEF, the AstraZeneca vaccines were saved and can protect against another new variant such as Delta, and that it is 92 percent effective against the new virus.