Covid vaccine arrives in Erongo

Healthcare workers first in line

22 March 2021 | Health

Dr Kalumbi Shangula; Health minister; “A vaccination certificate will be issued to every person who has been vaccinated.”

Swakopmund • [email protected]

Sinopharm’s Covid-19 vaccine which was donated to Namibia by the Chinese government, arrived in the Erongo region on Friday morning.

Erongo health director Anna Jonas said that the first phase of the vaccine roll-out in Erongo will target healthcare workers.

“We will start in Walvis Bay and Swakopmund. The age group we are targeting is 18 – 59 years.”

Jonas said that an exact determination for the second phase still needs to be made as to who will be targeted to receive the vaccine.

“The next phases will look at people with comorbidities. For now we are rolling out Sinopharm, and we also expect the arrival of other vaccines.”

According to Jonas there is a special set-up for administering the vaccine, which makes provision for emergency situations.

“If anyone has an adverse effect, there is medical personnel ready to assist.”

Getting vaccinated

Dr Leonard Kabongo, chief medical officer of the Erongo region, said there are various stations at the vaccination site.

“After registration, you will have to complete a checklist to determine if you are eligible and to check if you have any allergies or had any reactions to previous vaccinations. This list will tell us who is likely to have any adverse effects to the vaccine.”

A person that passes through this process will receive a consent form, which will also explain the benefit of the vaccine and the potential side-effects.

Officials will explain how you will be taken care of should anything happen.
“Our stations are well-prepared and have the necessary apparatus to manage an emergency,” said Kabongo.

He pointed out that based on data available, it is unlikely that someone will develop severe side effects.

“In case that happens, we have a station prepared to deal with it. If someone has suffered from Covid-19 before, you qualify to get the vaccine only after 90 days. This also forms part of our checklist.”

Kabongo added that for the first phase the ministry is targeting about 2500 healthcare workers.

Launch

The minister of health Dr Kalumbi Shangula announced earlier today (Friday) that the National Deployment and Vaccination Plan for Covid-19 Vaccines in Namibia anticipates that the country may not receive vaccine doses that are sufficient to vaccinate the eligible population at once.

“The plan is to vaccinate in phases. The vaccination campaign starts today in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay. These places share characteristics of high population density, informal settlements, and being destinations of many cross-border travellers render them to increased risk of transmission.”

The minister said that he believed that starting with vaccination of frontline health workers in these districts will ensure that they are protected and that the health system remains functional and responsive to meet the needs of patients.

Vaccinations are taking place at Swakopmund State Hospital, Walvis Bay State Hospital, Cottage Private Hospital and Welwitschia Private Hospital.

Screening process

The minister said that persons with comorbidities, pregnant and lactating women, those below 18 years and those above 60 will be excluded during this initial period, while the country obtains more data for these populations.

“All persons presenting themselves for vaccination will be screened for eligibility and for pre-existing medical conditions. Informed consent will be obtained from all persons presenting for vaccinations. Patients will be observed for 15 minutes, and 30 minutes after vaccination. They will be encouraged to report telephonically or visit the nearest health facility if they experience any potential side effects or adverse event following immunization (AEFI).”

The minister stated that all vaccinated person will be monitored and documented.

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