Namibia: 'Namibia Has No Ruined Vaccine Doses'

15 April 2021

Namibia did not record any case of Covid-19 vaccine doses being spoiled since the rollout of the vaccination campaign last month.

The countries received 100 000 Sinopharm Covid-19 doses donated by the Chinese government, while the country also took delivery of 30 000 Covishield vaccine doses donated by the Indian authorities.

Since the vaccination process started last month, over 3 000 Covid-19 vaccine doses have been administered in the Khomas and Erongo regions as part of phase one, which ends 19 April.

The country is still waiting for the arrival of Covid-19 vaccines sourced through the United Nation's Covax scheme.

Namibia is expected to receive about 67 000 doses of AstraZeneca from the Covax facility, Dr Theo- Ben Kandetu of the ministry of health confirmed yesterday.

Asked on the issue of spoiled doses, Kandetu said they are happy with the vaccination exercise thus far.

"Our approach is to vaccinate as many people as possible as we get vaccines. To date, no spoiled dose has been reported to us," he said.

Some countries have recorded huge cases of spoiled jabs due to temperature control issues.

However, he said, side effects by some who were administered have been reported.

He singled out that some people experienced common side effects after been vaccinated, which include headaches, vomiting and muscle aches, among other symptoms.

However, he noted, Covid-19 vaccines' benefits still outweigh the risks it poses.

"We will continue to roll out AstraZeneca as long as we monitor side effects. We have a scientific team of experts to evaluate scientific data from manufacturers. We are looking at other vaccine products. Phase one is going quite well. We are on track. We are happy with the progress, seeing we only rolled out the vaccination in Windhoek, Walvis Bay and Swakopmund," Kandetu noted.

According to him, the ministry of health has so far engaged about seven manufacturers to see how best Namibia can procure vaccines, as the global demand is high.

"We do expect a response; there are engagements. We are not leaving any stone unturned to get vaccines from other countries," he added.

Botswana deaths

Rosalina dee Wee of the World Health Organisation said they are in contact with their Botswana counterparts to investigate the reported deaths of two elderly people who had reportedly received the AstraZeneca Covid-19 jab.

India had donated 30 000 doses of the vaccine that were manufactured by the Serum Institute of India, while the Botswana government bought 33 000 doses that were made in South Korea.

The two people who died had taken the shots made in India.

"After being discharged, they requested to be vaccinated. Our colleagues are doing a detailed report so we are all at ease and allay fears among the public. That is being investigated so we don't seem like we are hiding anything," Dee Wee assured.

Botswana is also investigating the deaths of two among thousands of people who had been given doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to see if there is any link.

Millions of doses of the AstraZeneca shot have been safely administered around the world.

But Europe's drug regulator last week said it had found a possible link between AstraZeneca's vaccine and very rare cases of blood clots.

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