COVID-19 vaccination launched in Khartoum
The Ministry of Health in Khartoum state launched a vaccination programme in the isolation wards of Jabra Hospital in Khartoum. The federal Ministry of Health aims to cover 20 per cent of Sudan’s population through the COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access initiative (COVAX) by September.
COVAX is a coalition co-led by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Global Vaccines Alliance (Gavi), and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), that ensures equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines to countries regardless of their income.
The vaccination campaign in Khartoum was launched in the presence of representatives from the World Bank, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), the World Health Organisation (WHO) and directors of departments from the Ministry of Health.
Osama Abdelrahim, Undersecretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, said that the government aims to distribute the vaccine to patients, the elderly and those with chronic diseases. He also pointed out that Sudan is one of the first countries to receive the AstraZeneca vaccine in the Middle East and Africa.
A few days after Sudan (43 million inhabitants) received 828,000 doses, Ethiopia (109 million inhabitants) received 2.2 million doses. Other countries in the region received vaccines in the same week as well.
The head of the technical committee for vaccinations, Dalia Idris, said the Ministry has planned three stages in the vaccination process. The first stage aims to reduce mortality, the second to protect health and medical personnel who have direct contact with patients and their families, and during the third stage those suffering from chronic diseases and those aged over 45 are to be protected. She added that the governments aims to ensure that additional vaccine doses will be transferred to Sudan.
Last week, the first batch of 828,000 vaccine doses arrived at Khartoum airport. According to UNICEF representative in Sudan Abdullah Fadil 1.9 million doses are expected “in the coming weeks and months”. By the end of the year, he said, 17 million doses should be distributed in Sudan, enough to vaccinate 8.5 million people as everybody needs to have two shots to be fully protected.
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