Namibians implored to get vaccinated

Covid-19 briefing

15 September 2021 | Ministries

Dr Kalumbi Shangula; Minister; “The nation can rest assured that all the vaccines delivered to Namibia are safe for use…”

Namibia recorded a total of 126 430 Covid-19 cases, 121 647 recoveries and 3 437 (2.7%) deaths since the start of the pandemic.

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula announced these statistics at the 34th Covid-19 National Measures briefing on Tuesday, where he again emphasised that vaccination is key in the fight against the virus.

Shangula said it is concerning that the number of people being vaccinated with the first dose in Namibia, are less than those of persons who are coming for the second dose.

“It is important to note that persons who have received the first dose have built up immunity against Covid-19 and are therefore afforded a level of protection. Those who are not vaccinated are the most at risk of severe illness and death.”

According to the minister, this is evident in the daily Covid statistics.

“The vast majority of persons who are currently hospitalized are those that have not been vaccinated. Similarly, Covid-19 deaths recorded in the country in the past three weeks are almost exclusively of persons who have not been vaccinated. Let us do what is right and get vaccinated.”

The minister also addressed allegations doing the rounds on social media that the people who are dying, are those that have been vaccinated.

“There is no shred of evidence that supports this narrative. On the contrary, statistics confirm that those who have died are not vaccinated. We inform the public about this in our daily reports.”

Vaccines received

Namibia received 75 000 doses of AstraZeneca from the Netherlands on 8 August 2021.

“A total 20 000 doses of SinoPharm were received from Zimbabwe on 31 August 2021 and 15 000 doses of Sputnik V (Component 1) were received from Serbia on 2 September 2021. The delivery of Component II of this vaccine is awaited,” Shangula said.

Still expected is 318 720 doses of AstraZeneca from Germany, 100 620 doses of Pfizer from the USA and 30 000 Hyatt Vax from the United Arab Emirates.

The vaccines bought by government include 40 800 doses of AstraZeneca, which was procured through the COVAX Facility. This was received on 10 September 2021 and is the remainder of the 108 400 doses that government acquired earlier.

“A total of 108 000 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine from the African Vaccine Acquisition Task Team (AVATT) arrived today (14 September 2021) at 13:20, while the date of delivery for 350 000 doses of SinoPharm procured from the manufacturer will be communicated,” the minister said.

He assured the nation that Namibia has sufficient doses of the vaccines for the vaccination campaign.

“There is false information being circulated alleging that Namibia has received expired vaccines. I am debunking these lies and state categorically that there is absolutely no truth in these allegations. The nation must remain assured that all the vaccines delivered to Namibia, whether through donations or those that we have procured with government resources are within their shelf life and are safe for use.”

The minister warned that spreading false information about Covid-19 is an offence. “As such, anyone who spreads false information about Covid-19 will face the full wrath of the law.”

Testing

Currently, Namibia has the third highest Covid-19 testing capacity per 100 000 population on the African continent, behind South Africa and Gabon, in the first place.

The minister emphasised that Covid does not spread by itself.

“It is spread by people as we move around and when we do not comply with the public health regulations. Let us continue to do what we know to be right. Let us conduct ourselves and behave in such a manner that we will not experience another devastating wave. The current respite teaches us that it is possible to bring the numbers of new infections down.”

PHOTO CAPTION:
Health minister Kalumbi Shangula. Photo Namibian Presidency

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