E. Equatoria State launches Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine
The Eastern Equatoria State health ministry in collaboration with health partners on Thursday launched the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccination campaign in Torit town.
The director-general in the state health ministry, Dr. Etin Concord Erib, said the Covid-19 vaccination campaign will cover the entire state.
Early this week, the state received 574 vials of the Johnson & Johnson Covid-19 vaccine to cover Torit, Lafon, Ikotos, and Nimule while Kapoeta is yet to receive vial directly from the national health ministry in juba.
Speaking during the launch at Torit State Hospital, Dr. Erib said the Johnson & Johnson vaccine is safe and administered in a single dose as authorized by United SatesFood and Drug Authority (FDA)
“Today we are launching a vaccine which is new and this is called J&J. I would like to give some factsheet about this J&J,” Dr. Erib said. “I think these are two people operating this company and the manufacturer is called Jansen Pharmaceuticals from the United States. It was authorized on 27 February 2021 by the Food and Drug Authority.”
He added that frontline workers and the elderly will be the first to take the vaccine and that everyone above 18 years can take it apart from people with some health oddities.
“It is only one shot, which is an advantage. Everybody above 18 years of age can get it except anybody with a severe allergic reaction. The second group is people with fever more than 38 degrees centigrade, they should wait until the fever subsides,” Dr. Erib explained. “The first to obviously be vaccinated are the people in the frontline, the health workers because they are at risk of getting this disease.”
UNICEF’s chief of the field office in Torit, Mikelele Bernard Ofuho, encouraged those who have not taken the vaccine to take it to protect themselves and their families.
“It is the same as AstraZeneca, so many people did not feel the pain with exception of what may be the pain of the needle and the advantage with J&J is that the pain will only be once not like AstraZeneca where you have two jabs. So that is an advantage for all of us,” Ofuho said.
A Torit resident, Cirillo Pasquale Paul, who took the jab said he was confident that it will save his life and that of his family and encouraged the population to go for vaccination.
“I have taken the Covid-19 vaccine and the reason I took is that this virus is very dangerous, I have seen in the mass media the dangers it poses to other developed countries and for us South Sudanese we do not believe in coronavirus but it is real and exists, Paul waned.
Rosina Deiya, another Torit resident who had not taken the vaccine because she was sick says she will not miss out this time around.
“I have not taken because I was sick but I will take it this time because it is not bad and these are things brought to help the population,” Deiya said. “It will help you everywhere you go.”