While the rational among us have echoed the government’s encouragement to Namibians to get vaccinated, these messages have largely fallen on deaf ears.
While the positivity rate has declined with hospitalisations and deaths, Namibians cannot yet breathe a sigh of relief.
This week, former health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku warned the country is likely to face a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” if rising Covid-19 infections in Europe are anything to go by.
In recent weeks, a surge in positive cases all around the globe has forced countries with much better systems and infrastructure to take extreme measures to curb the spread.
Many of these countries also struggle with vaccine hesitancy like Namibia.
During a deadly third wave in June and July, Namibia lost over 3 300 people to the coronavirus.
Hospitals were bursting at their seams and businesses, and the government had to increase bed and mortuary capacity all over the country.
Everyone’s movements were limited, and certain businesses could not operate, or only trade to restricted capacity.
Since the outbreak of Covid-19, over 12 000 Namibians have been retrenched; the tourism sector has been decimated, and many other businesses had to scale down.
Government, the driver of the economy, has been dealing with what President Hage Geingob calls “headwinds” since 2016.
We need to keep the country open and working so more people’s lives can return to normal.
The novel coronavirus has killed at least five million people globally – out of over 253 million registered positive cases since the outbreak emerged in China in December 2019.
Vaccine hesitancy and misinformation has, however, proven to be a formidable foe in Namibia’s quest to get more people vaccinated to eventually return to a semblance of normalcy.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) wants the country to vaccinate at least 10 000 people per day to reach the target of vaccinating approximately 60% of its population by December 2021, but Namibia falls far short of this number at the moment.
Since March, Namibia has only managed to fully vaccinate around 220 000 people.
More vaccination points and a wider variety of the jab has been available for months, but Namibians seem to ignore the advice of the world’s scientists over the conspiracy theorists.
The ones led astray by the misinformation campaigns of those who crave attention, social media fame and feeble contrarianism should be reminded that in Namibia at least, no one has died as a result of the vaccine, while so far, over 3 500 have died from the coronavirus.
Very few of the dead have been partially or fully vaccinated.
The conspiracy theorists, who can offer no alternatives other than the latest fad or outlandish rumour from Ivermectin to magnets, say they think for themselves and do their own ‘research’ but most could not help their primary school children with basic mathematics.
Stop being fooled.
Let’s get the jab and avoid the carnage of the third wave.
Vaccinations only work if all of us are inoculated.