World Bank allocates US$ 7.1m to fund vaccine acquisition

World Bank allocates US$ 7.1m to fund vaccine acquisition
Firas Raad, South Sudan World Bank Country Manger speaking during the launch of Johnson and Johnson covid-19 vaccine in Juba on Friday 08/10/2021 (photo credit: Alex Bullen)

The World Bank has allocated an additional $7.1 million to support South Sudan’s purchase of extra doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.

The announcement came during the launch of a single dose COVID-19 Johnson and Johnson vaccine in the country on Friday.

The South Sudan country manager Firas Raad said the fresh funding from the World Bank comes as another mechanism to complement the efforts of the global COVAX facility.

He said the World Bank had teamed up with partners to set up the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team –(AVATT) to make sure Africans get vaccinated.

“Therefore, as part of this AVATT initiative, the World Bank has allocated fresh funding of up to $7.1 to support South Sudan’s acquisition of additional doses of the COVID19 vaccine,” he said.

He called on the stakeholders to address the vaccine fears and uncertainty that reduces the turnout especially at a time that the country gets more doses.

“It is noteworthy to observe that females in this country represent only a quarter of those who have been vaccinated,” he lamented.

Mr. Raad said it was so clear that much needed to be done to dispel incorrect notions about the vaccine and to minimize the hesitation towards getting vaccinated amongst all segments of the population.

“The Ministry of Health (MoH) has informed us that it would like to make full use of this new financing and efforts are underway to submit the necessary application to AVATT and to begin the process of procuring additional doses of the COVID19 vaccine,” he added.

He commended the MoH for choosing to use the existing Expanded Program on Immunisation (EPI) structures for the vaccination efforts and for integrating the COVID-19 vaccine into routine vaccination efforts.

He cited that the decision would help strengthen the South Sudanese health system and enable it to fulfill its core public health functions.