Juba — South Sudan will soon run out of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines, coming just two months after donating its doses to Kenya.
The Health Ministry's Covid-19 Chief of Operations, Angelo Guop, confirmed the development but said the occurrence should not cause alarm.
"We have 1,820 doses left. These are now available in three main hospitals: Juba Teaching Hospital, Juba Military Hospital and Juba Police Hospital...The doses were evacuated back to Juba from other locations where there is low intake of vaccines. For those who are supposed to take their second dose, you have 3 weeks. You can take your next dose a week earlier or two weeks late, it does no harm," he said.
Health authorities in Lakes State said they had exhausted their vaccine jabs.
In March this year, South Sudan received 132,000 vaccine doses from the Covax facility, a global initiative to ensure lower-income countries receive the drugs.
However, in May, the country decided to return its vaccines after concluding that it did not have the resources to administer the jabs before they expire. Kenya immediately expressed interest to take up a consignment of 72,000 AstraZeneca/OXford vaccines.
South Sudan's Ministry of Health says only about 50,000 people have been vaccinated so far, against an estimated population of 13 million people.
As of July 10, the country had recorded 10,674 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 117 deaths.
The World Health Organization has urged South Sudan to ensure at least 10 per cent of the population is vaccinated against coronavirus by September 2021.