With frontline workers given a choice between the Sinopharm and Covishield Covid-19 vaccines, the latter seems to be a favourite at the Katutura Intermediate Hospital.
Sinopharm was donated by the Chinese government, while Covishield was donated by the Indian
Tourism sector worker Daniel Swartbooi, who was inoculated yesterday at the Katutura hospital, said he opted for the Covishield vaccine, saying he has extensively read about it.
Sister Vekazuva Ndjai of the Katutura hospital told New Era most people chose the Oxford-AstraZeneca jab, which is being made in India as Covishield.
This vaccine requires people to get a second jab eight weeks later, while the Sinopharm vaccine has a follow-up second jab after 28 days.
Covishiled is considered safe for use in people older than 60 years, while the Sinopharm vaccine is not recommended for people older than 60.
Namibia’s vaccination rollout commenced with the Sinopharm vaccine on 16 March, while the use of the Covishield vaccine started on 1 April 2021.
The first phase of the rollout, which targeted frontline workers, will end on 19 April.
Meanwhile, the senior registered nurse at the Katutura hospital, Alex Kampanza, expressed concern that a low number of health workers are coming to get their jabs.
Kampanza is, however, satisfied with the turn up of other frontline workers, mainly police officers and those in the tourism industry.
Since they commenced vaccination on 23 March 2021, about 800 people have received jabs there.
In contrast, the Windhoek Central Hospital senior registered nurse in charge of the vaccination facility Andreas Shaanika said his numbers are very high, with about 140 people vaccinated per day, including health workers.
“People come and complain about the holdup, but later realise it is due to the amount of paperwork,” said Shaanika.
He added that the efficiency and the process is commendable, but their challenge is being short-staffed as health workers are also needed in the wards.
Both facilities have not recorded any patient with severe side effects from any of the two vaccines.
Common side effects are slight dizziness, weakness, nausea, and vomiting which is found in a small number of patients.
As at yesterday afternoon, only 3 442 people have thus been vaccinated against Covid-19 in the Khomas and Erongo regions. Khomas has administered 3 282 doses, while Erongo has only inoculated 160 frontline workers.
The second phase is scheduled to start on 20 April and this round of vaccination will be open to all other Namibians, not just frontline workers.