S.Sudan could miss Covid vax target amid insecurity, flooding

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South Sudan might not attain the target of vaccinating at least 2.5 million of its population against Covid-19 by the end of 2021 amid the prevailing insecurity and flooding in the rural areas, health officials said…reports Asian Lite News

Since April, the Ministry of Health has fully vaccinated 92,276 people, reports Xinhua news agency.

Sacha Bootsman, World Health Organization (WHO) Covid-19 incident manager said on Monday that South Sudan is still way behind in reaching the 40 per cent vaccination target by the end of this year.

S.Sudan could miss Covid vax target amid insecurity, flooding

“We are still stuck with rolling out the single shot Johnson and Johnson vaccines to the counties due to devastating flooding and insecurity across the country,” Bootsman told journalists in Juba.

Bootsman said vaccines have been administered in only 48 out of the 80 targeted counties, noting that vaccination uptake was very low among the elderly and people with underlying health conditions.

Angelo Goup Thon, South Sudan’s manager for the Public Health Emergency Operation Centre said they are failing to take vaccines to most parts of the country due to fears of insecurity along roads, in addition to risks accompanied by the use of boats.

“There are some areas where you cannot go by boat and you cannot walk because of the flooding, some areas like Western Equatoria and Yei are not stable because of insecurity,” said Thon.

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“Our vaccination teams are trying to make sure we reach all the counties, now that we are approaching the dry season we will be able to reach all the counties,” he added.

South Sudan has so far confirmed 12,585 positive Covid-19 cases, 12,168 recoveries, and 133 fatalities.