The first batch of United States donated Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines arrived in Juba this morning. The 152,950 doses were received at Juba International Airport by Health Minister Elizabeth Acuei Yol and The U.S. Chargé D’affaires, David Renz.
The single-dose J&J COVID-19 vaccines are the third batch of several vaccine shipments to arrive in the country through the support of the COVAX Facility.
The U.S. Charge’d Affaires, David Renz, says the vaccines are part of worldwide United States efforts to combat the global pandemic and help South Sudan respond to COVID-19.
“These vaccines are the next step in our support for protecting the health and wellbeing of the South Sudanese people and for bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end,” said David Renz at JIA this morning while receiving the vaccines
The J&J vaccine requires only one dose to protect against the virus but, AstraZeneca takes two dosages to vaccinate fully.
South Sudan government has welcomed the donation from the United States, saying the vaccines will expand the protection mechanism against COVID and its variants.
Minister of Health Elizabeth Achuei Yol said the target people to get vaccinates are young adults to offer protection against delta variant. She urges the public to stop listening to rumors about the effects of vaccines.
“The delta variant is with us, and there is no compromise between the young person and elder in this virus. So, you take your time and come forward to take the vaccines. If there is information you want to know, come to us and were the right people to ensure your safety,” Achuei said.
World health organization Country representative Dr. Fabian Ndenzako warned the public not to mix the vaccines from different companies. He says one should consistently get vaccinated either for Johnson & Johnson or AstraZeneca.
“Effectiveness and guidance on how to use those vaccines are particular to each of these vaccines because there was clinical trial and guideline during the development of these vaccines were achieved through those processes. So, if we use the vaccines, we must follow that as part of the recommendation,” Ndenzako stated.
He encourages adults in South Sudan to get vaccinated to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help protect individuals, families, and communities.
The COVAX Facility is a global partnership comprised of Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, UNICEF, and WHO, to ensure all countries can equitably access COVID-19 vaccines.