The National Taskforce on Coronavirus has recommended to the President that all government officials be compelled to take the AstraZeneca vaccine.
According to the head of the taskforce, the general public, including constitutional post-holders, is reluctant to take the jabs that arrived in the country more than 2 months ago.
“If everybody doesn’t want to get vaccinated, we will not allow them to enter government offices without the certificate of vaccination,” Vice President Abdelbaggi Akol said after meeting President Salva Kiir on Monday.
Over the weekend, South Sudan gave Kenya 72,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine it turned away due to expiry date concerns.
The Ministry of Health announced this month that it would not be able to administer all of the 132,000 doses it received from the COVAX facility because fewer people are interested in taking the jabs.
It also said it is unable to timely deliver all the doses across the country.
Only 16,000 doses have so far been administered – all in Juba city.
The doses will expire on July 17th.
The Vice President for Service Cluster who also heads the coronavirus taskforce expressed fears that the remaining doses may expire before usage.
Abdelbaggi Akol told President Kiir at the State House that “every staff at the public institutions must get vaccinated.”
“Even in the private like hotels, the staff working there must get vaccinated,” he maintained.
The VP announced that these measures could likely come into effect in the next two months.
“We will tighten these procedures and nobody will be allowed to enter a public place and hotels without a certificate.”
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.
Where to get vaccinated
The Ministry of Health has announced that Covax vaccination is now available at the following health facilities in Juba; Malakia Public Healthcare Center, Kator Public Healthcare Center, Nyakuron Public Healthcare Center, Hai Jebel Public Healthcare Center, Gurei Public Healthcare Center, Kimu Public Healthcare Center, Munuki Public Healthcare Center.
This is in addition to Juba Teaching Hospital, Juba Police Hospital, and Juba Military Hospital.
According to the Africa Centre for Disease Control, the scientific and medical evidence shows that vaccination can help protect against COVID-19. The studies are also showing that vaccinated people may have less severe illness if they do become ill from COVID-19.
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