Remarks as Prepared for Delivery for the Reception of the
Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccines
Juba International Airport
September 14, 2021
Good morning and Welcome.
Honorable Minister of Health Elizabeth Achuei
Honorable Deputy Foreign Minister Deng Dau
Honorable Dr. Victoria Anib Majur, Undersecretary, Ministry of Health
Honorable State Minister Nejwa Mursal
Jesper Moller, UNICEF Deputy Representative
Dr. Fabian Ndenzako, Representative from the WHO
Dr. George Awzenio, Director of Expanded of Program of Immunizations,
Ministry of Health
All protocols observed, distinguished guests, ladies, and gentlemen.
Thank you all for joining us this morning.
Today is an important day for South Sudan’s response to COVID-19 and for the partnership between the governments of the United States and South Sudan.
The donation by the United States of over 150,000 doses of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, through the COVAX initiative, is part of the U.S. efforts to combat COVID-19, promote health, and advance global health security.
The United States has already donated more than 125 million doses from its domestic supply to over 80 countries. We will continue to share vaccine doses as supply becomes available. In addition, the United States is donating 500 million Pfizer vaccine doses for distribution by COVAX through 2022.
These vaccines are the next step in our ongoing support for protecting the health and wellbeing of the South Sudanese people and for bringing the COVID-19 pandemic to an end.
The J&J vaccine is particularly important because it will allow the national COVID-19 response to expand its vaccination efforts, reaching new areas of the country and protecting more people.
The J&J vaccine requires only one dose to provide protection against COVID-19. That means this donation will protect over 150,000 more people in South Sudan. It is easier to transport as well.
Our donation strengthens the relationship between the people of the United States and the people of South Sudan. It comes at a critical time in South Sudan’s efforts against COVID-19. And it is part of a coordinated effort with key international partners, including Gavi, UNICEF, and the World Health Organization.
As such, it underscores our collective resolve to respond to the global challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Since the emergence of COVID-19, the U.S. Government has provided nearly two hundred million dollars to South Sudan’s efforts to address the challenges presented by the pandemic.
Our United States Agency for International Development, USAID, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, CDC, have worked side by side with South Sudan’s health professionals to combat the global pandemic and protect the people of South Sudan from this disease.
USAID alone has dedicated more than $175 million dollars for emergency food assistance, risk communication and community engagement, and important public health functions to combat the spread of COVID-19. These include infection prevention and control, surveillance, contact tracing, vaccine rollout and other health measures.
Working with the Ministry of Heath, CDC provides $11 million dollars in technical assistance for emergency preparedness and response, including a public health/disease alert hotline, contact tracing, home-based care, data management, human resource capacity-building, vaccinations, and coordination.
CDC also provides direct technical assistance on epidemiology, laboratory skills, and risk communication and community engagement, through experts from the United States and neighboring countries. The Department of State provided $10 million in humanitarian assistance to aid refugees and host communities during the pandemic.
Let me leave you with one final thought. COVID-19 vaccines are safe and effective. I encourage all adults in South Sudan to get vaccinated when possible and to help limit the spread of this disease through good hygiene, use of masks, and distancing. These measures will help protect individuals, families, and communities.
Once again, on behalf of the American people, I thank our donor partners, the Government of South Sudan, and all the people working to provide vaccines to the people of South Sudan. We look forward to continuing this lifesaving work together.