Over 70 000 Namibians await second AstraZeneca second jab

04 August 2021 | Health

JEMIMA BEUKES



WINDHOEK

Government is scratching its head in the face of a vaccine crisis, with about 70 000 Namibians waiting for their overdue second dose of AstraZeneca.

It has yet to announce whether it will allow those waiting for the AstraZeneca vaccine to be given Sinopharm instead.

Namibia ran out of AstraZeneca stock two months ago, with only Sinopharm doses available - which have been used to resume the country’s Covid-19 vaccination programme.

On Monday, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said they are yet to decide whether they will be mixing vaccines, as they are awaiting final delivery dates form the Covax facility.

“We will advise on the course of action. We don’t have a fixed date as yet,” he said.

During last week’s Covid-19 update, Shangula announced that 165 200 doses of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, a donation from the United States government, is expected to be delivered through the Covax facility in coming weeks.

Meanwhile, the government of the Netherlands has also pledged 75 000 doses of AstraZeneca, and will soon announce delivery dates.

“We are working day and night to ensure that individuals whose second dose is outstanding will be vaccinated as soon as the doses become available,” he said.

Trained and ready

“We received communication yesterday that 9 714 of the 333 333 doses of Johnson & Johnson vaccine procured through the Africa Vaccine Acquisition Task Team [AVATT] will be delivered during the week of 23 August. We expected to see the vaccine landscape diversified, with increased access to other types of vaccines,” the minister said.

“This week, the ministry conducted training on the administration and other aspects of the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. The training of trainers - attended by over 140 healthcare workers from around the country - was conducted in anticipation of the arrival of these vaccines in the country soon,” Shangula added.

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