OMUTHIYA - People living in remote areas have shown keen interest in getting vaccinated against Covid-19 as opposed to those living in towns says Oshikoto health director Joshua Nghipangelwa.
“We have recorded a huge number of people in rural areas coming forth for vaccinations, especially at Onandjokwe and Omuthiya districts, while Tsumeb has shown a sluggish figure,” he said.
“We don’t know why people living in towns are not coming for vaccinations, however, we hope to see an improvement in coming weeks.”
In addition, he said, more still needs to be done in Tsumeb to reach a higher number. There are 15 132 doses of Sinopharm in Oshikoto, while the AstraZeneca doses are finished. A total of 7 485 have received their first jab of both Sinopharm and AstraZeneca, while 2 478 are fully vaccinated.
“We are still waiting for more doses to be delivered, but we are told a consignment of AstraZeneca is yet to be delivered. So, I call upon residents to come forth and get their jab, as we have readily available doses of Sinopharm for first and second doses,” said Nghipangelwa.
In general, the director says, the vaccination process started very slow, which saw the region lagging in second from bottom on the list of vaccinated people. However, figures started climbing when the directorate reinforced its campaign by boosting fixed points with an outreach programme, complemented by efforts from traditional authorities and regional councillors.
“We have also noted that mostly it is people above 30 years that are coming forth, while those in their 20s are hesitant,” he added. “We have a reasonable number of vaccines, therefore, we encourage people, especially those in rural areas, to contact us, when they form a group, and we can administer them. This will help us boost the immune system as well as protect ourselves and the community.”
Nghipangelwa said it could be fear of the unknown as well as widespread conspiracy theories that prevent people from getting vaccinated. “Some only tend to understand and want to get vaccinated after they have seen a close relative contracting the virus or someone who died. However, this should not be the case, therefore, I advise the public to voluntarily get the jab so that it can reduce the chances and severity if one gets infected.”