South Sudan returns 72,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine
The country had received 132,000 doses at the end of March from Covax, the global mechanism for providing vaccines to poor countries, but it will not be able to administer them before their expiration, warned, Tuesday, May 25, Angelo Goup Thon , responsible for Covid-19 operations at the Ministry of Health.
After this return, approximately 52,000 doses will remain in the country from the same batch, which Juba hopes to be able to use before their expiration date on July 18. Only 7,996 South Sudanese, out of an estimated population of 12 million, received a dose.
According to the authorities, the deployment was hampered by logistical problems: the state of the roads and security are problematic in this country which is just emerging from a civil war. But also by the reluctance of the populations to be vaccinated. A recurring problem on the African continent.
The suspension of the AstraZeneca vaccine, especially in South Africa, has increased public mistrust. Thus, South Sudan is not the only country to have had to return its vaccines so that they are not lost. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had also had to give up 1.3 million doses redistributed to other African countries.
Asked about this, the director of the African Center for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC Africa), John Nkengasong, notably announced that an awareness campaign would be launched at the continental level to explain that “Vaccines are safe and save lives”.
For his part, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, head of the Africa office of the World Health Organization (WHO) calls on states to take measures to improve communication, through churches, women’s associations, young people, etc. It is necessary that the “Messages are transmitted to populations by people they trust”, she clarified.
Very partial resumption of Air Algeria flights
After a suspension of more than fifteen months, Algeria announced, Monday, May 24, to resume its flights from 1is June to four countries. “Three weekly flights from and to France will be provided” by Air Algérie, with two flights to and from Paris and one flight from and to Marseille, in addition to a weekly flight which will be provided from and to Turkey (Istanbul), Spain (Barcelona) and Tunisia ( Tunis), indicates a press release from the Prime Minister.
Decided in March 2020, at the very start of the Covid-19 pandemic, the closure of borders and the suspension of commercial flights and maritime links cut many Algerians from abroad from their country of origin. In March, repatriation flights, accessible under conditions, had even been suspended due to the appearance of the English variant at the end of February in Algeria.
This long-awaited reopening remains extremely constrained, however, since, on their arrival, passengers will have to comply with a five-day confinement in a hotel chosen by the authorities. These accommodation costs as well as the screening test will be the responsibility of the travelers and payable on boarding.