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South Sudan receives first Covid-19 vaccines via Covax

South Sudan receives first Covid-19 vaccines via Covax
File- A man receives a dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 coronavirus vaccine at the Jabra Hospital for Emergency and Injuries in Sudan's capital Khartoum on March, 2021   -  
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South Sudan

South Sudan received its first dose of coronavirus vaccines on Thursday, a total of 132,000 Oxford-AstraZeneca shots.

It is the first of many shipments to the country through Covax, an initiative to secure Covid-19 vaccines to poorer countries.

Health Minister Elizabeth Achuei said the country is expecting a total of some 800,000 doses in the first half of 2021 through Covax.

The vaccination campaign will start next week, targeting essential workers like doctors and nurses, as well as vulnerable populations such as the elderly.

"I am a happy woman today, and I truly thank God that we have received the Covid-19 vaccines for our people," Achuei said Thursday.

"The Covid-19 vaccines will help us protect our population against Covid-19 infection and prepare for a return to normal life," she added.

South Sudan has recorded nearly 10,000 coronavirus cases and 107 deaths, but the country has only performed 127,627 tests.

It plans to eventually procure five million doses of vaccines, enough to protect 20% of its population, estimated at 12 million people before the epidemic.

Vaccination will be voluntary and free.

In Geneva on Thursday, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi), which is co-piloting Covax, said deliveries to poor countries would be delayed due to export licensing issues affecting India, a major vaccine producer. where local demand has increased.

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