Namibians hesitant against taking COVID-19 jab



from ALFRED SHILONGO in Windhoek, Namibia
WINDHOEK, (CAJ News) THE Namibian government has launched a mass media campaign strategy to tackle the delay or refusal to take the coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine.

This resistance marred the effectiveness of the vaccination campaign in a country that is among the five worst hit by deaths from the virus in the continent.

A third of respondents from a recent World Health Organisation (WHO) and Namibia survey on adherence to public health measures were unwilling to get vaccinated because of safety concerns.

This alongside the limited availability of vaccines contributed to the low uptake of the COVID-19 jabs with only 6,3 percent of the Namibian population having received their first dose and 1,6 percent being fully vaccinated as of July 28.

It is estimated that the country may need to vaccinate at least 10 000 people per day if it’s to reach its target of 60 percent of the population of 2,6 million people.

Prime Minister, Dr Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhila, said the “Get Vaccinated, Help Kick COVID-19 Out of Namibia” was designed to motivate and provide information on the vaccines and vaccination process, generate awareness and assist in managing myths and misinformation.

This would help in developing trust and confidence to improve acceptance and uptake of vaccine.

Dr Charles Sagoe-Moses, WHO representative, said during the week of July 30, Namibia was among five countries contributing to 76 percent of deaths in Africa.

Although the country has witnessed a downward trend in new infections in the past weeks, positivity rate of 28,2 percent and case fatality rate of 2,6 percent, remain high.

“Vaccination is the best weapon against COVID-19,” Sagoe-Moses said.

Namibia has recorded some 122 000 cases of COVID-19, including 3 204 deaths.

– CAJ News

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