July 21, 2021 (JUBA) – The health authorities in South Sudan say they have closed down all the Covid-19 vaccination centres after running out of the jabs.
In March, the East African nation received 132,000 doses of the Oxford AstraZeneca vaccine from the Covax facility, but 72,000 of them were donated to neighbouring Kenya over concerns that they would expire before use.
South Sudan had a slow rollout of the vaccination programme and the ministry says the doses that remained have been used to vaccinate more than 50,000 people with the first dose and 4,000 of them with a second dose.
About 9,000 healthcare workers have been vaccinated.
“We have deployed successfully 95% of the 60,000 doses that remained with us with wastage of about 4%, and this is within an acceptable range. Now all our centres have closed,” Dr John Rumunu, a director-general in the health ministry said.
He further disclosed that three types of Covid-19 variants of concern are currently circulating in South Sudan, citing the Alpha, Delta and Beta variants.
South Sudan’s health ministry has so far reported 10,959 infections and 117 deaths.