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S. Sudan plans to dispose of 60,000 expired Covid vaccines

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April 19, 2021 (JUBA) - South Sudan’s ministry of health says it plans to dispose of the expired 60,000 doses of covid-19 vaccines donated by the African Union in partnership with the mobile operator, MTN.

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South Sudan’s Heath Minister Elizabeth Achuei receiving the COVID-19 vaccine (Eye Radio photo)

The consignment of 60,000 doses of the Covid-19 vaccine arrived last week.

Speaking to journalists during the weekly press briefing on Sunday, the Covid-19 Incident Manager in South Sudan, Dr. Richard Laku said the health ministry is not using the 60,000 doses of expired vaccines.

“The Drug and Food Control Authority already laid the policy which we as the ministry have to abide with. And now engagement with the African Union and the other people is to see how we deal with this. Is not something that is going to be used, nobody is going to use it. We have so many drugs that were donated, and we have not used them, and this one we are going to deal with,” Laku explained.

He said the expired vaccines will be burned in the course of the week.

“The DFCA and the central medical store and the directorate of pharmaceuticals are already having a mechanism of dealing with this. So it is a process that is going on,” Laku said.

For his part, the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative in South Sudan, Dr. Fabian Ndenzako said they are ready to support the government to get rid of the expired vaccines.

“For WHO, we do have a policy on how to dispose of hazards. And of course in many countries that we are in, countries have also competent national regulatory authorities of which also have expertise on exposing this hazard,” stated Ndenzako.

He added, “So, we usually work with the national authorities and when they wish to get extra technical support, they usually come to us when that requirement is needed”.

Last month, South Sudan received the first batch of 132,000 doses of AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccines provided by the COVAX facility. The vaccine doses are expected to expire in July this year.

(ST)

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