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Vaccination success depends on public’s attitude - Shangula

2022-01-06  Paheja Siririka

Vaccination success depends on public’s attitude - Shangula

Despite a sharp increase in positive cases and deaths as well as widespread misinformation that impacts the slow pace with which Namibians have taken up vaccination against the coronavirus, government has decided not to change to a more aggressive approach.

The ministry of health says it has observed a marked improvement in the uptake, although by its own admission, the festive season is not the right time to interpret any trend. 

Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula stated that vaccination success depends largely on public attitudes, the aggressiveness of the anti-vaccination campaign, the countermeasures in place, and other variables. 

“Any mathematical modelling involving human behaviour will not give one an accurate prediction,” Shangula informed New Era yesterday on whether the government has restrategised and established new ways of ensuring that herd immunity is reached to contain the devastating further spread of the virus.

“It is very concerning that we are observing an increasing number of daily reported deaths occurring across Namibia, some of which are home deaths,” Shangula stated.

He strongly urged the public to seek emergency medical attention when experiencing difficulty breathing, chest or upper abdominal pain, fainting or sudden dizziness, changes in vision, confusion, any sudden or severe pain, difficulty when speaking, coughing blood and severe or persistent vomiting or diarrhoea. 

He also advised Namibians not to wait until the situation is beyond remission, and pleaded with all bereaved families to adhere to the Covid-19 burial regulations as they are laying their loved ones to rest. 

“Our numbers for vaccinated children are still very low. We encourage parents and caregivers to take their children for vaccination at the nearest vaccination centres. Getting your children vaccinated will reduce their chances of developing severe pandemic outcomes, which include hospitalisation or death once they are infected with the Covid-19 virus”, Shangula added.

By 4 January, only 1 989 teenagers had been vaccinated.

The health ministry announced the highest daily death toll of 18 since the beginning of the third wave for that day, adding that it is distressing that 16 out of the 18 deceased were not vaccinated against Covid-19. 

“They all died of Covid-19. Most, if not all of these deaths, could have been prevented through vaccination. Adults particularly are at high risk of death if they are not vaccinated. It costs hundreds of thousands of Namibia dollars to be unvaccinated and end up in ICU. Let common sense prevail,” the minister stressed. 

Meanwhile, the Director General of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus called on nations across the world via social media platforms to gather behind the campaign of vaccinating at least 70% of their countries’ populations by July 2022.

He also conveyed optimism that the pandemic can end in 2022, provided countries stop hoarding vaccines and ensure equitable access. 

“Narrow nationalism and vaccine hoarding by some countries have undermined equity, and created the ideal conditions for the emergence of the Omicron variant. The longer inequity continues, the higher the risks of the virus evolving in ways we can’t prevent or predict,” he emphasised.

“We need governments to continue using tailored public health and social measures including testing, sequencing and reporting of variants by all countries without fear of punitive measures. We need to build a strong global health security framework”, Ghebreyesus said.


Namibia had by 4 January 2022 recorded a total of 405 734 people who had received at least one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, representing 27.2% of the target population of persons aged 18 years and above. A total of 105 697 had received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, which is administered as one dose, while 238 875 adults had received two doses of other vaccine types. Therefore, 344 627 persons have completed the vaccination, translating to 23.0% of the target population.




Caption (Vaccination) Kick it out… The health ministry says vaccination success depends largely on public attitudes towards vaccination and the aggressiveness of the anti-vaccination campaign.


Photo: Emmency Nuukala


2022-01-06  Paheja Siririka

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