WALVIS BAY – Fishing industry bosses accompanied by the sector’s minister Derek Klazen on Thursday got vaccinated in an effort to encourage employees to follow suit at Walvis Bay.
The industry at the town was severely affected last year during the first outbreak of Covid-19, especially among factory workers and seafarers.
The sector is also one of the key drivers in the country’s economy with an employment figure of close to 16 000 people who support thousands of families.
Klazen hopes to safeguard the sector, and took the first jab at the Tunacor clinic to break the myths surrounding the vaccines that have stopped so many from taking the life-saving injection.
“I needed to set an example, hence I am here to show you that the vaccine is safe and can be taken to protect your colleagues, family and friends,” he said.
He added that by taking the vaccine, both companies and employees are safeguarding the industry that is the livelihood of so many people.
“Please take the vaccine, especially because we don’t want a repeat of what happened last year in the sector,” he appealed.
The chairperson of the Namibian Fishing Association, Matti Amukwa, who recently also got vaccinated, said many employees in the sector are willing to get vaccinated, but are deterred by misinformation about the vaccines.
“Some are discouraging others, yet they in turn go and get vaccinated. The industry has been working hard to provide their employees with correct information so that those who want can be vaccinated, “he noted.
Tunacor general manager Peya Hitula said they have also set up a vaccination site at the company to encourage their employees to get vaccinated. Some are willing and eager to get vaccinated. Unfortunately, misinformation is hampering the process.
“However, we will embark on a mass campaign in the fishing industry to educate our employees to get vaccinated and protect themselves,” stated Hitula.
Meanwhile, Erongo health director Anna Jonas yesterday said about 15 000 people had been vaccinated in the region. This includes those who only received their first jabs.