19th June 2021
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Kenya receives unused Covid vaccine doses from South Sudan

Author: Daniel Danis | Published: Monday, May 31, 2021

A Kenyan medical health worker injects a woman with AstraZeneca vaccine during a door-to-door campaign for people who live far from health facilities in Siaya on May 18, 2021. Credit| Brian Ongoro/AFP

The 72,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine turned away by South Sudan have arrived in Nairobi, Kenya.

South Sudan announced this month that it will not be able to administer all of the 132,000 doses it received from the COVAX facility due to low uptake [fewer people interested in taking the jab], and logistical challenges.

Only 16,000 doses have so far been administered – all in Juba city.

“We are committing back 72, 000 so that they are used by someone who can deploy the vaccines, ” said Professor Mayen Achiek, the Undersecretary in the Ministry of Health.

Kenya then expressed interest in vaccinating its citizens using the unused vaccine from South Sudan.

This is after Kenya’s Health Cabinet Secretary Mutahi Kagwe announced that the country had only 100,000 doses of the vaccine left.

The vaccines from South Sudan were delivered to the country’s Ministry of Health on Saturday aboard a Kenya Airways flight.

They were wrapped in 7 packages, each weighing about 318 kilos, stored between 2 to 8 degrees.

The doses will expire on July 17th.

South Sudan will be left with 52,000 doses that it hopes to use before the expiration date on July 18.

So far, only 8,000 people have had the jab put into their arms.

In April, South Sudan’s Ministry of Health sidelined over 60,000 coronavirus vaccines donated by the African Union and MTN over expiry date concerns.

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