N$193m earmarked for Covid-19 vaccine
11 November 2020 | Health
Namibia has earmarked around N$193 million for the Covax facility which it has joined to acquire the Covid-19 vaccine.
Government envisages vaccinating 20% of the population, prioritising healthcare workers and vulnerable populations.
This was confirmed by Petronella Masabane, deputy executive director in the ministry of health and social services, who added that the vaccines are paid in US dollars and may change because of exchange rate fluctuations.
“We are expected to pay a 15% pre-payment of N$193, which is approximately N$29 million, and the rest later when the vaccine becomes available,” she said.
According to a World Health Organisation (WHO) news release in August, 172 economies were in discussions to participate in Covax, a global initiative working with vaccine manufacturers to provide countries equitable access to safe and effective vaccines once they are licensed and approved.
Covax currently has the world's largest and most diverse Covid-19 vaccine portfolio, including nine candidate vaccines, with a further nine under evaluation and conversations under way with other producers.
Masabane explained that Namibia is working closely with the World Health Organisation (WHO) to finalise its target population.
“The vulnerable population for Covid-19 vaccination are those aged 50 and above and people with co-morbidities. In addition, the vaccine will target health workers, port of entry staff and other people at increased risk of getting infected with Covid-19,” she said.
Since its first Covid-19 case was reported in March this year, Namibia has recorded 13 211 confirmed Covid-19 cases and 134 related deaths.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, is coordinating the design and implementation of the Covax facility which seeks to procure, equitably allocate and deliver two billion doses of safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines by the end of 2021.
According to a Gavi information sheet, 94 higher-income economies have already joined as self-financing members of the facility, joining 92 low- and middle-income economies who will have their participation supported by the Gavi Covax AMC.