Namibia: Vaccines No Free Pass, but 'Will Save Lives'

INDIVIDUALS who have received vaccines against Covid-19 should still maintain safety protocols, travelling would still require testing, and getting infected with the virus is still a possibility.

This is according to Erongo governor Neville Andre and Erongo health director Anna Jonas at a Covid-19 press update at Swakopmund on Friday.

The update aimed to reveal details of the vaccine roll-out in the region.

Andre said he would today be inoculated against Covid-19 at the Swakopmund State Hospital.

The Khomas and Erongo regions were the first to receive some of the 130 000 doses of the Chinese Sinopharm and Indian Covishield vaccines during the first phase of the vaccination programme launched on 19 March.

On Thursday, 3 587 people in the country were vaccinated, of which 846 were vaccinated at the region's two main health districts - Walvis Bay and Swakopmund.

Jonas on Friday said Chinese nationals received most of the administered vaccines in the country thus far.

"Namibia received

100 000 units from China on condition that Chinese nationals in Namibia also receive them," she said.

Swakopmund nurse Esmaralda Garoës who received the vaccine last month, , said assisting Chinese nationals also helped to keep Namibians safe.

"We live together and need to look after one another. We all need to take the vaccine, and we need to encourage one another that it will save lives and stop the spread," she said, adding that she did not suffer from any side-effects after receiving the vaccine, and is confident it will protect her.

Jonas said it takes time for the vaccine to become effective - hence the need to be vaccinated twice.

"It is still uncertain how long it takes to be effective, and also, there is still a chance that people can be infected after having taken the vaccine," she said.

Andre said this was why people still have to maintain safety protocols.

He said the infection rate of other diseases seemed to have dropped because people were adhering to the government's Covid-19 safety protocols.

Once people receive a vaccine, they will receive a vaccination certificate, which details the type of vaccine administered, by whom it was admiinstered, and on which date.

An official stamp will accompany the certificate.

The second phase of the national vaccination campaign will proceed to other districts in the Erongo region as of today, Andre said. Outreach programmes to mineworkers, fishermen and people in correctional facilities will also be undertaken. Jonas said misinformation on vaccination discourage people from taking it, and it is therefore important to provide the public with facts.

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