Long way to go for 40% vaccination rate

Charles Sagoe-Moses warned that Namibia is not out of the Covid-19 woods yet, and urged citizens to adhere to regulations to avoid a fourth wave.

20 October 2021 | Health

ESTER KAMATI







WINDHOEK

World Health Organisation (WHO) country representative Charles Sagoe-Moses has warned Namibians to continue being cautious in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, saying they are not out of the woods yet. He added that adherence to existing regulations could spare the country from a fourth wave.

“But if we don’t, a fourth wave is surely going to come,” he said.

Sagoe-Moses added that the number of people in the country who have been vaccinated is not high enough and reminded that about 90% of Covid-19 fatalities during the third wave were unvaccinated individuals.

“Government has secured enough vaccines and the vaccines keep on coming by the day. By December, 40% of the total population should be vaccinated. We have a long way to go and we can all do something. Let’s get out there and do our part. Together we can win this thing,” he said

The WHO set a target of 10% for September and 40% for the total population of all countries to be vaccinated by December.

Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe assured that Namibia has exceeded the 10% target. He, however, added that the 40% target may be a concern at the current pace of vaccinations.

Nangombe said the ministry is doing what it can to reach the 40% mark and increase vaccination numbers.

“There are campaigns ongoing and this month we are going to have increased campaigns in the regions with the aim of achieving the targets and to up the vaccine uptake.

“It is true that the uptake so far has been less than what we would have liked to see but there are ongoing campaigns.”

Efforts ongoing

Nangombe said vaccinations are available at various venues including anti-retroviral treatment clinics.

“We have rolled out campaigns to vaccinate people, particularly the elderly at the pension pay-out points.

“It is less than what we would like to see, but efforts are ongoing,” he said about the number of people who have been vaccinated.

“The nation has a wide portfolio of vaccines they can choose from. All that is left is for people to go out and get vaccinated. Vaccination does help and protects against severe illness and death,” he said.

Nangombe confirmed that over 200 000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine have been secured and will be delivered soon. He could, however, not provide a delivery date.

Meanwhile, Sinopharm, Johnson and Johnson, Astra Zeneca and Sputnik vaccines are available across the country.

Protect yourself

“The Covid-19 pandemic is not going to be defeated in intensive care units; it is not going to be defeated because we have more ventilators and concentrators. The pandemic is going to be defeated by people adhering to the public health regulations and people getting vaccinated.”

He added that healthcare workers need to be protected.

“We know that there is protection against Covid-19. Let us help protect and secure our healthcare workers so that they can attend to other illnesses. Covid-19 is not the only disease that is taking up a disproportionate amount of resources, whether it is financial or human resources.”

As at 17 October, 192 650 people have been fully vaccinated countrywide, while 296 974 have received their first jab.

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