Namibia will today receive 50 000 Russian Sputnik V vaccine doses donated by the Serbian government to fight Covid-19. The one-dose Sputnik V vaccine will be added to the doses of AstraZeneca and Sinopharm already available since 19 March 2021, when government’s vaccine campaign kicked off.
The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) this week claimed the vaccine has shown 93.5% efficacy. The health ministry yesterday said in the Covid-19 daily update, “we are increasing the range of vaccines on offer.”
By mid-July, 250 000 Sinopharm doses arrived to restart the programme that became largely dormant as 100 000 donated Sinopharm and 30 000 AstraZeneca doses ran out. About 75 000 AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine doses, donated by the Netherlands authorities, arrived in the country a fortnight ago.
Health minister Dr Kalumbi Shangula last week announced the country will soon receive additional vaccines, including 302 000 Johnson & Johnson doses donated by the US government through the Covax scheme.
While the 75 000 AstraZeneca doses are mainly for second doses, those who want their first doses have been encouraged to get to a vaccination centre. “We do not rationalise administration of AstraZeneca vaccines. Those who need first or second doses of AstraZeneca vaccine are urged to come to the vaccination sites to be inoculated.”
Meanwhile, the ministry has decided to allow visitation to Covid-19 patients by a family member. Patients are entitled to one visit per week. “The family member concerned will be provided with full protective equipment during such visits. The visit will last for 30 minutes. The visits to different patients will be staggered and spread over in terms of dates and times so that there is no congestion of visitors in any Covid-19 ward at any time,” said the ministry in its daily Covid-19 briefing.
This decision was taken to allay the apprehension of family members and to enhance the recovery of the patients. So far, 193 246 people have received the first jab while 86 993 have been fully vaccinated.