The South Sudan health ministry is set to commence the second round of a mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign targeting 1.8 million people across the country.
Speaking at a press conference in Juba on Monday, Janet Michael, the acting director general for primary healthcare at the national health ministry, said they intend to inoculate those aged 18 and above.
“We expect to vaccinate at least 1.8 million people and this is why there is a need for this press conference so that we can enlighten our people,” she said. “I think our ratio is very low because the number of people vaccinated is not very high. In East Africa, we are the lowest, followed by Ethiopia, Kenya, and Uganda.”
The official attributed the low uptake of Covid-19 jabs to rumours that they cause infertility.
“The low turnout for the vaccine is the misconception people have, especially the youth,” Michael explained. “When they started vaccination for Covid-19, it was said that it was meant for people above 65 and those who are vulnerable so the youth said they do not belong to that category.”
South Sudan has vaccinated over 2 million people since the first phase of mass vaccinations in April 2021.
Meanwhile, the country has received a cumulative total of 3.95 million doses of AstraZeneca and Johnson and Johnson Covid-19 vaccines.