Namibia: Govt Backs Sinopharm Booster Dose

Doses of the Sinopharm vaccine against Covid-19.
1 December 2021

Third doses of the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine should be offered to those over 60, the ministry of health announced yesterday.

The authorities also said booster shots may also be administered to individuals over the age of 18 and who have completed their two-dose Sinopharm scheduled vaccination. Those who should be inoculated can be moderate to severely immunocompromised persons including those with HIV but not on treatment nor virally suppressed, active cancer, transplant recipients, those on active treatment immunosuppresses and should be 60 years and older.

"All individuals 18 years and older who have completed two-dose scheduled vaccination with Sinopharm and seeking to get vaccinated with the third dose of the vaccine must not be turned away. The administration of the third dose is six months after the second dose," said health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe. He stated the ministry is gathering evidence on other vaccine boosters and will keep the public informed. "Waning off immunity has also been documented. The neutralisation antibodies by the dose vaccine schedule dropped from 31.2 AU/ml to 0.9 AU/ml five months after the second dose.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has therefore recommended an additional third dose among 60-year old persons, those with commodities and the immunocompromised," he said.

He indicated that based on this, the ministry then decided to introduce an additional primary dose of Sinopharm vaccine to persons who have already completed their vaccination schedule. About 147 366 people have been fully vaccinated with the Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine since the introduction of the vaccine in March 2021.

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