Those in ICU all unvaccinated - Shangula

The health minister urges people to get vaccinated for protection against severe Covid-19.

22 December 2021 | Health

TUYEIMO HAIDULA

OSHAKATI

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula says all 16 people currently in intensive care units countrywide because of Covid-19 are unvaccinated.

Shangula said the spreading of misinformation about vaccinated people still catching the virus must stop, as vaccinated people have mild symptoms and have a better chance of surviving without being hospitalised.

“It was never reported that those vaccinated will not get the virus. Our stance has always been that if you are vaccinated, you have a better chance of surviving without getting too ill,” he said.

Shangula stressed that the Covid-19 vaccines protect everyone from getting ill, and significantly reduce the likelihood of hospitalisation and death.

“Getting vaccinated is the best way to slow the spread of Covid-19 and to prevent infection by Delta, Omicron or other variants,” the minister said.

While the developed world has achieved a high level of vaccination coverage, Africa is lagging behind and Namibia even worse.

By Sunday afternoon the country had vaccinated 335 158 people. The country needs to get 1 501 041 (60%) of the total population vaccinated to reach herd immunity.

Shangula said Africans are now copying the anti-vaxxers in Europe.

“When I started engaging people more, I also realised there are some people with genuine fear which has been created by misinformation or lack of it.

“Some people have fear of the unknown and are being told they will lose their manhood and that women will become infertile if they get the vaccine. This is not true,” he said.

Vaccination facts

The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention say a vaccine breakthrough infection happens when a fully vaccinated person gets infected with Covid-19. People with vaccine breakthrough infections may spread Covid-19 to others.

The CDC is collecting data on vaccine breakthrough infections and is closely monitoring the safety and effectiveness of all Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved and authorised Covid-19 vaccines.

The CDC also says even if you are fully vaccinated, if you live in an area with substantial or high transmission of Covid-19, you – as well as your family and community – will be better protected if you wear a mask when you are in indoor public places.

Shangula said vaccinated people should still follow the government’s health regulations, as no vaccine is 100% effective in preventing infection.

“Fully vaccinated people are less likely to develop serious illness than those who are unvaccinated and get Covid-19.

“Even when fully vaccinated people develop symptoms, they tend to be less severe symptoms than in unvaccinated people. This means they are much less likely to be hospitalised or die than people who are not vaccinated,” Shangula said.

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