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Vaccine doses go to waste…as uptake slows around country

2021-11-25  Loide Jason

Vaccine doses go to waste…as uptake slows around country
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Namibia acquired lifesaving inoculations to curb the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but over 200 000 doses of various vaccines are going to waste and will be dumped as the uptake is
worryingly low.

The country is expected to dispose of 268 257 Covid-19 vaccine doses during November 2021 and February next year, following the set expiration of the AstraZeneca and Pfizer

The health ministry’s executive director Ben Nangombe told New Era yesterday that 52 261 AstraZeneca vaccines are expiring next week, while 215 996 Pfizer doses are expiring in January and February, respectively.

By 23 November 2021, a total of 358 599 people received one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, while 224 309 have been fully vaccinated, including those who opted for the one Johnson&Johnson jab. “We have a total of 809 414 vaccines nationally available, which comprise AstraZeneca, Sinopharm, J&J and Pfizer. Out of those vaccines, 268 257 are expiring in three months, while the rest are expiring in 2023,” he explained.

The country as of yesterday (Wednesday) has a total of 809 414 vaccines available nationally, inclusive of those approaching the end of their useful life. Since the first cases were reported in Namibia in March last year, 129 126 cases have been registered, while 3 571 people have died.

Last week, former health minister Dr Bernard Haufiku warned that the country is likely to face a “pandemic of the unvaccinated” if Covid-19 infections in Europe increase. He said the fourth wave, which is reportedly peaking in European countries, will likely not be worse than the third wave for people who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Haufiku further explained that a significant amount of vaccines were bought with taxpayers money and Namibians must, therefore, show up in big numbers to take vaccines so that resources don’t go to waste, as is the case now. “Vaccines are a valuable resource. A significant amount of vaccines were acquired by utilising public resources; others were given to us by other nations as donations. Vaccines are the best and most effective weapon we have to protect our people against severe illness, hospitalisations and death. Let’s all go out in big numbers and get vaccinated,” he pleaded.  Nangombe urged Namibians to protect themselves from severe sickness and deaths through Covid-19 by taking vaccines. “Let’s protect ourselves, our families and our communities.  Let us make sure that none of these valuable resources go to waste or get destroyed because we fail to get vaccinated,” he stressed.  The executive director said there is a lot of work to do to get more people vaccinated, and stakeholders must thus do their part to ensure that Namibians show up in big numbers to get their jab.

2021-11-25  Loide Jason

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