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JUBA - 29 Mar 2021

South Sudan postpones Covid-19 vaccination launch

South Sudan’s government has postponed the Covid-19 vaccine launch, scheduled to take place at the State House, on Monday due to unclear circumstances. 

The presidency and senior government officials were expected to receive their first jabs of the Oxford/AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines during the launch.

On Sunday, South Sudan’s Health Ministry announced that it would launch the vaccine on Monday.

The director for preventive disease control at South Sudan’s Ministry of Health, Dr. John Rumunu said, the vaccination exercise was postponed due to logistical challenges.

“What I know is it has been postponed, the launch has been postponed, and for simple logistical reasons. And we have not yet gotten another information about when it is going to take place,” he explained. 

However, South Sudan’s Covid-19 incident Manager at the ministry of health, Dr. Richard Laku said, he was not aware that the vaccination had been postponed.

South Sudan received the first batch of its 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines from the COVAX facility on Thursday, and another 60,000 doses donated by African Union (AU) through African Centre for Disease Control (CDC) on Friday 26.

According to the health ministry, the vaccines will first be administered to priority groups including the frontline health workers, elderly people of 65 years and above, and people with underlying medical conditions.  

The ministry said it has trained 60 health workers who will administer the vaccines at 18 medical centers in Juba beginning Tuesday this week. However, it remains unclear when the vaccinations will begin.