As part of the Government of South Sudan’s efforts toward Millennium Development Goal 4 and per the country’s immunization multi-year plan (cMYP) for 2012-2016, the pentavalent vaccine (DPT-HepB-Hib) was introduced into the routine immunization system in July 2014, replacing the trivalent DPT vaccine. Historically, DPT-3 vaccination has been used as a proxy indicator for completeness of routine immunization coverage, including in South Sudan.
Despite significant efforts for the roll-out of pentavalent vaccine in 2014 and 2015, based on administrative coverage from December 2015, national penta-3 coverage is averaged at approximately 60% and therefore in need of continuing strengthening. The poor performance and low completeness of reporting in some states (notably Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity States), have been due to continued insecurity and irregularity of services as a result of the civil unrest since late 2013.
The introduction of the pentavalent vaccine into the South Sudan routine immunization system offers an opportunity for the country to improve its immunization program and coverage, as well as to apply the lessons learned to future planned vaccine introductions.
This report details the lessons learned from the introduction of the pentavalent vaccine in South Sudan. JSI, 2016.