19th June 2021
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Kenya wants AstraZeneca vaccine S. Sudan failed to use

Author: Memo Lasuba | Published: Wednesday, May 26, 2021

The first batch of 132,000 doses of the Astra Zeneca COVID-19 vaccine arrived at the Juba International Airport on Thursday of 25th March, 2021 - Credit | UNICEF South Sudan | 25, March 2021

Kenya wants the doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that South Sudan has failed to utilize, the Chief of Operations on Coronavirus in South Sudan has said.

On Sunday, South Sudan’s Ministry of Health announced it was returning 72, 000 doses of the vaccine to avoid the jabs from getting expired.

The doses are part of the 132,000 vials donated through the UK-based facility in late March this year.

But officials say the majority of the people in South Sudan have been unwilling to get vaccinated.

It affirmed that the uptake of the vaccines is too low – coupled with logistical challenges in rolling out the vaccination exercise.

Although the AstraZeneca vaccines are still efficient until mid-July, only 16,000 doses have so far been administered.

Those vaccinated are mainly in Juba city.

This prompted the government to announce plans to return the remaining doses to the United Kingdom.

However, Kenya has expressed its interest in using the doses on its citizens.

Dr Angelo Goup, the Chief of Operations on Coronavirus in South Sudan has confirmed the report to Eye Radio Tuesday.

“Kenya is interested in taking the vaccine, and I think more discussion is happening between Kenya and the leadership of the ministry to take the vaccine. So with the coordination and communication between Covax, South Sudan and Kenya,” said Dr. Angelo.

“I think there shouldn’t be any problem because still if we give Kenya those doses, then the doses to be given to Kenya maybe in July can be given to South Sudan. So there is still a clear agreement to be made.”

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

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