The Ministry of Health and Social Services on Friday, 19 March commenced with the COVID-19 vaccination programme to protect the people and put the country on the trajectory towards normalcy.
The programme was officially launched by the Health Minister, Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, at the Windhoek Central hospital, where the Deputy Minister of Health, Esther Utjiua Muinjangue also received the Sinopharm jab to kick-start the programme.
Speaking at the launch Shangula said it has been long 12 months of battling this pandemic which has been tormenting the nation.
"Namibia joins other countries around the world to help break the backbone of this global pandemic. Today, we will experience firsthand and witness the launch of Phase I of the vaccination programme. Our Plan has anticipated that Namibia may not receive, the vaccines doses which are sufficient to vaccinate all eligible population at once. Thus, the plan is to vaccinate in phases," he said.
According to Shangula the vaccination campaign starts concurrently in Windhoek, Swakopmund, and Walvis Bay Districts.
"We believe that starting with vaccination of frontline Health Workers in these districts will ensure that they are protected and that the health system remains functional and responsive to meet the needs," he said.
Shangula said in terms of vaccination sites, they have designated four public and four private health facilities, respectively in Khomas and Erongo Regions to provide vaccination services
during Phase I.
The vaccination sites are as follow: Windhoek Central Hospital; Windhoek Katutura Intermediate Hospital; Windhoek Rhino Park Hospital and Windhoek Lady Pohamba Private Hospital.
In the Erongo Region it will take place at Swakopmund State Hospital, Swakopmund Walvis Bay State Hospital, Walvis Bay Cottage Private Hospital and Walvis Bay Welwitschia Private Hospital.
According to Shangula, persons with comorbidities will be excluded, to allow the country obtain more data on use of the Sinopharm vaccine amongst persons with comorbid conditions, those older than 60 years old, as well as pregnant and lactating women.
"Persons with comorbidities, pregnant and lactating women, those below 18 years and those above 60 years old will be excluded during this initial period, while the country obtain more data for these populations.
"Clients will be observed for 15 Minutes, and 30 minutes after vaccination. They are encouraged to report telephonically or visit the nearest health facility if they experience any potential side effects or adverse event following immunization (AEFI). 9. All vaccinated person will be monitored and documented. A vaccination certificate willbe issued to every person who has been vaccinated," he said.
Meanwhile, the Deputy Minister of Health, Muinjangue after her shot 15 minutes of observation urged Namibian's to get the vaccine as it will protect themselves as well as their family.
Another, health official, Dr. Theo-ben Kandetu , who also received the jab said the reason he got the jab is to protect himself from COVID-19 and "I did this so because of the overwhelming evidence that this vaccine is safe an effective and I would like to encourage everyone to to the same," he added.
Meanwhile, Shangula also announced that a donation of 30,000 Covishield from India will arrive on Saturday, 20 March.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Esther Utjiua Muinjangue received the Sinopharm jab to kick-start the programme on Friday