South Sudan on Tuesday received 152,950 Johnson and Johnson vaccine doses from the US, Health Minister Elizabeth Achuei confirmed.
“The single-dose vaccines, a donation from the US government, are the third batch of several vaccine shipments to have arrived in the country through the Covax-facility, a global partnership established to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines worldwide,” she told journalists on Tuesday at Juba International Airport.
“The roll out of the new consignment is expected to start within the next two weeks.”
Ms Achuei urged non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to help the government civic education efforts, to encourage uptake of coronavirus vaccines.
On August 31, South Sudan received 59,520 doses of Covid-19 AstraZeneca vaccines from Covax, donated by the government of France.
In March this year, South Sudan received 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccines from Covax – the global initiative to ensure lower-income countries have access to vaccines.
However, in May, the country initiated a process to return some of 72,000 vaccine doses after concluding it cannot administer the vaccines before expiry. Kenya expressed interest to have the consignment.
On July 18, part of South Sudan’s second Covid-19 AstraZeneca consignment expired. 56,587 citizens got vaccinated and only 6,063 does in the 96 facilities across the country were wasted, according to the Ministry of Health.
Health officials in South Sudan argue that misinformation on vaccines has led to vaccine hesitancy.