South Sudan has stopped vaccination against COVID-19 after it exhausted all its AstraZeneca vaccines it received from the COVAX facility in March.
John Rumunu, director-general for preventive health services in the Ministry of Health said they have ended vaccination in all the 90 centers across the country.
“We have closed down all our vaccination centers because we have run out of vaccines,” Rumunu told journalists in Juba on Sunday.
In March, Juba received 132,000 doses of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from the COVAX facility.
It, later on, sent back 72,000 dozes it failed to use up due to low vaccine intake and lack of enough storage capacity.
Since the start of the vaccination campaign in April, 56,989 doses have been used with 52,226 people having received their first COVID-19 jab and 4,763 others received their second jab.
“We managed to finish all the doses before the expiry date, we do not have any vaccines remaining, and we do not have any vaccine expiring in the cold chain. We have about four percent of wasted vaccines; this is within the acceptable range of wastage,” said Rumunu.
South Sudan is expecting to receive additional 60,000 AstraZeneca vaccines in August from the COVAX facility.
Joseph Wamala, World Health Organization (WHO) emergency officer, warned South Sudan’s Ministry of Health officials to be cautious and vigilant due to the possible spread of the deadly Delta variant from neighboring countries.
“The projection is that in the coming weeks and months, COVID-19 cases, as well as hospitalizations and deaths in many countries will increase largely driven by increasing emergence of highly transmissible variants, relaxation and inappropriate use of public health social measures,” he said.
The Ministry of Health said as of Saturday the country’s cumulative number of cases stood at 10,954, with 10,751 recoveries and 117 deaths.