Covid: Geingob encourages vaccinations as 3 436 die

15 September 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES

Only 9% of Namibians fully vaccinated

14% Khomas fully vaccinated (highest regionally)

15.1% of national population received first jab

3 556 doses administered per day



WINDHOEK

So far, 3 436 Namibians have died from Covid-19, mostly during the devastating third wave, with President Hage Geingob yesterday expressing concern at the slow rate at which healthcare workers are taking the vaccination.

Only 14% of the country’s healthcare worker population have taken the jab.

The head of state was, however, pleased that vaccine uptake is much higher amongst the elderly and persons with comorbidities.

Since the start of the country’s Covid-19 vaccination roll-out, about 13.9% of Khomas Region residents have been fully vaccinated, while in neighbouring Hardap, the vaccinated population stands at 12.6%.

So far, those who have gotten their first jab constitute 15.1% of the country’s eligible population. Namibia, which targets 60% vaccine uptake in order to reach herd immunity, has in recent days recorded an average of 3 556 doses per day.

“This is a long shot from the requisite 60% total population coverage target to achieve herd immunity by March 2022. I implore all eligible Namibians to come forward and get vaccinated. Vaccination remains one of the most effective measures in our national response to avert serious illness and death from Covid-19,” Geingob said.

“When government developed the national Covid-19 vaccination and deployment plan earlier this year, we adopted the principle of voluntary vaccination. The aim of that approach was to encourage vaccine uptake on a voluntary basis. Recently, there has been broad discussion on different platforms about mandatory vaccination.”

He pointed out that the official government stance is voluntary vaccination, although there may be employers who are coercing their workers to get jabbed.

Enough vaccines

Meanwhile, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula assured the nation that, at the moment, Namibia has sufficient doses of the vaccines for the vaccination campaign.

He further discouraged the public from peddling mistruths and misinformation about the effects vaccines may have on people.

“I want to debunk these lies and state categorically that there is absolutely no truth in such allegations. The nation must remain assured that all the vaccines delivered to Namibia, whether through donations or those that we have procured with government recourses, are within their shelf life and are safe for use. “Members of the public should stand warned that spreading false information about Covid-19 is an offence. As such, anyone who spreads false information will face the full wrath of the law,” he said.

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