Team Europe, United Nation agencies and government representatives in South Sudan on Thursday 25 March welcomed the arrival of the first batch of 132,000 doses of COVID19 vaccines provided by the COVAX facility.
Representing Team Europe at the reception event at Juba International Airport, German Ambassador to South Sudan Manuel Muller said healthcare workers, the elderly and vulnerable people must be prioritised as indicated in the COVID-19 vaccination plan.
“Today is a good day. South Sudan now has a vaccine to fight against COVID-19,” Muller said. “We are also witnessing the solidarity of donor countries with developing countries, especially the international community providing free vaccines to South Sudan. We need to remind ourselves in this fight against the virus that we can only be safe if all of us are safe.”
According to Ms Hamida Lasseko, UNICEF Representative in South Sudan, vaccination is the easiest and most cost effective way of fighting the life threatening COVID-19 disease. “Today’s delivery is a true team victory as you can see, we have key partners here of the COVAX facility, WHO, GAVI, UNICEF and the Ministry of Health,” Ms Lasseko said.
Health Minister Elizabeth Acuei said front-line health workers, social mobilisers, the elderly and people with underlying conditions such as cancer, asthma, and heart disease will be the first benefiaries of the vaccination campaign begginning next week.
“We are grateful to all partners for their support in facilitating the arrival of the COVAX vaccine in our country,” said Minister Acuei.
Security Presidential Advisor Tut Kew Gatluak, Charge' d'Affaires of the European Union Delegation, Alessandro Rossi, French Ambassador Marc Trouyet, UK Ambassador, Jonny Baxter and World Health Organisation Country Representative, Dr Fabian Ndenzako among others also attended the reception of this first batch of COVID-19 vaccines.
The European Union is one of the main funders of the COVAX facility.