COVID-19 vaccination in Sudan

Key facts you should know about the COVID-19 vaccine and vaccination campaign

Sudan, COVID-19 vaccine, COVID-19 vaccination, COVID-19 vaccination campaign, UNICEF, Ministry of Health
UNICEF Sudan/2021/Mugarura
23 February 2021

Is there a vaccine for COVID-19?

Yes, there are ten (10) COVID-19 vaccines approved for use globally but only three have been approved by World Health Organization.

Which type of vaccine will Sudan receive?

Sudan is a participant in the COVAX Facility and requested 17 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines to cover 8.5 million people, representing 20 per cent of its population. These doses will arrive in two shipments - one in March 2021 targeting health care workers and persons aged 45 and older with medical conditions and living in areas with high transmission or anticipated high transmission, across the country and the rest expected in the second quarter of 2021.

Is the COVID-19 vaccine safe?

Yes, the vaccine is safe and has been approved by World Health Organisation (WHO). Globally, the WHO coordinates several independent technical bodies that review the safety of vaccines prior to and even after they have been introduced. Vaccines that are approved for use by the WHO have gone through rigorous tests and clinical trials to show that they are safe and effective in controlling diseases. Even though COVID-19 vaccines are being developed as rapidly as possible, they can only receive the required regulatory approvals if they meet stringent safety and efficacy standards.

As most other vaccines, a person vaccinated against COVID-19 will experience some minor symptoms associated with the vaccination. These include injection site local pain and irritation and minor flue like symptoms which resolve within a few days.

When will Sudan receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

Sudan is confirmed to receive 3.4 million doses of AstraZeneca vaccine that will arrive in two shipments including the first shipment of over 800,000 doses in March 2021 and the remaining doses expected in the second quarter of 2021.

Who is eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine?

All persons above 18 years will be vaccinated against COVID-19. However, due to limited doses of the vaccine, the vaccination exercise will be done in three phases.

Who will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the FIRST phase?

  • Health care workers (HCWs) in all settings (governmental and private) who are in direct patient contact roles (including vaccinators) or who are at risk of exposure to bodily fluids or aerosols. Estimated numbers of health care workers in Sudan is about 500.000 in all states. 
  • Persons aged 45 and older with medical conditions and living in areas with high transmission or anticipated high transmission.

Who will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the SECOND phase?

  • Adults aged ≥45 years and older with medical conditions (hypertension and asthma) in the rest of the country.  
  • Key workers in essential jobs: teachers and school staff (examples may include preschool and primary school teachers because of the critical developmental stage of the children they teach, teachers of children where distance learning is very difficult or impossible).
  • Other Key workers in essential jobs who cannot avoid a high risk of exposure to COVID-19 (centers for public services, transportation, Energy, Armed forces, bankers, etc.)
  • Aged 45 and older without co-morbidities. 
  • Aged >18 years living /working in crowded accommodation where self-isolation and social distancing is difficult to maintain (examples may include people living or working in detention facilities, incarcerated people, refugees, IDPs).

Who will be vaccinated against COVID-19 in the THIRD phase?

  • Lactating mothers. 
  • Aged 18-45 years who did not have access to the vaccine in prior phases

How will the vaccination be done?

The Ministry of Health will announce the specific sites where the vaccination will take place.

Why is the COVID-19 vaccination important?

For so many years vaccines have reduced the scourge of numerous infectious diseases and saved millions of lives. Vaccines are safe and effective in controlling disease. The COVID-19 vaccine will do the same. The COVID-19 vaccine will be crucial in preventing severe forms of the disease and mortalities.

Should my child get a COVID-19 vaccine?

Only people above the age of 18 years are eligible to receive the COVID vaccine. Considering the limited availability of the vaccines, the initial doses of vaccines are intended for health workers, and people at high risk of severe illness from the virus, such as the elderly with underlying conditions, and are unlikely to be given to children. These populations have been prioritized to help reduce morbidity and mortality from COVID-19 and to help protect health systems that serve everyone. It is important, however, to make sure that your child is continuing to receive routine childhood vaccinations.

Do I stop practicing the safe habits now that I am vaccinated against COVID-19?

Vaccines alone will not end this pandemic. When you get vaccinated, continue with the safe habits like physical distancing, handwashing, sanitizing and wearing a mask to control the spread of the disease. These measures will be in place for a prolonged time and when the required percentage of the population has been vaccinated.