Following the outbreak of new Covid-19 variants which are more infectious and deadly with a catastrophic effect on developing countries, Namibia has been identified as one of the lucky nations that Germany will donate vaccines to.
Last week, Namibia confirmed the presence of the Delta Covid-19 variant, which has left a deadly trail of destruction for unvaccinated populations in Africa.
Like most developing countries, the country has insufficient vaccine doses to protect her people.
Receiving donated medical supplies by Germany on Thursday, international relations minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah said the Central European nation promised to donate vaccines to Namibia without specifying the volume of the vaccines.
“Yesterday afternoon [Wednesday], the good news reached the Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation that the German Cabinet had decided to donate vaccine doses to a few countries, including Namibia. This is a highly welcomed gesture, and we are looking forward to the delivery date. Hopefully it will not be too long from now,” she observed.
She reiterated that Namibia’s biggest distress is the delivery delay from the Global Access (COVAX) facility, notwithstanding the deposit Namibia had paid to this mechanism.
“Therefore, at this stage, Namibia is looking for more vaccines to enable us to meet our target of reaching 60 to 80% of the population vaccinated. I believe that a suspension of intellectual property rules that are stopping other producers from urgently manufacturing the vaccines that are known to work, and the sharing of the technology and recipes that make such production possible, would help the North and the South to end this pandemic. Let’s prioritise immunity for everyone so that we have global recovery,” she stated.
Namibia has paid up in full for 108 000 doses of AstraZeneca via COVAX.
To date, health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula said 67 200 doses have been delivered, while the balance of 40 800 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine is expected to reach the country during this month.
Namibia has also finalised orders for doses of Sinopharm and Johnson & Johnson vaccines, and is awaiting the delivery of these vaccines in the coming weeks and months.
Since the launch of the vaccination campaign in April this year, the country has to date received 197 200 doses of Covid-19 vaccines.
The Namibian government expressed gratitude to Germany, which sent a special cargo flight to Namibia carrying a donation of 300 000 infectious disease gowns, 500 000 respirator masks and 60 adjustable hospital beds last week.