ONGWEDIVA -The Omusati region has suspended administering the first dose of the Covid-19 vaccine as the available vaccines have become limited while government awaits the arrival of ordered shots.
The executive director in the ministry of health Ben Nangombe has, however, refuted claims that the ministry has suspended vaccinations in Omusati. He said the ministry only suspended the issuance of the first dose so that the available vaccines can be taken to areas with a higher demand.
Nangombe admitted that the ordered vaccines are delayed, and the ministry has instead rearranged its existing stocks to be taken to areas that are more in demand,
instead of turning people away.
Due to the delay of the vaccines, the available vaccines are running out as more people are coming out to get vaccinated. This arrangement is temporary while the ministry is awaiting stock. “The available stock is running out as more people are getting vaccinated.
But we have not suspended vaccination; it is just a rearrangement instead of turning people away,” reiterated Nangombe. While the ministry is happy that more and more people are coming out, there is a concern that the ordered doses have not been delivered. The next doses of Sinopharm and AstraZeneca are expected to
arrive in the next two weeks.
Following the decision to take the vaccines to areas in demand, the Omusati directorate of health on Friday issued an internal memo that the issuance of the first doses of both Sinopharm and AstraZeneca vaccines is suspended, effective from tomorrow (29 June 2021).
Omusati health director Alfons Amoomo said in the internal communication that the remaining vaccines should be reserved for second-dose vaccinations in order to provide the communities the required immunity. Amoomo said there is a delay in delivering already procured Covid-19 vaccinations, such that the vaccines in stock in the region are almost depleted.
By Saturday, 117 632 Namibians had received their first dose of either Sinopharm or AstraZeca, while 23 532 had received their second dose. Omusati only recorded 44 new cases, out of 1 007 cases nationally, with six hospitalisations.