Namibia: A Desperate Wait for Vaccine Doses

Columbus Mavhunga / VOA

(File photo).

14 JULY 2021

New Era (Windhoek)

Covid-19 vaccine doses at Oshakati, Rehoboth and Windhoek have completely run out as government waits for the delivery of new stock later this week.

The health ministry yesterday announced both Sinopharm and AstraZeneca doses are no longer being administered in the three districts, pending the arrival of new stock.

The global supply of Covid-19 vaccines has been erratic, while the waiting for the stock has been long and frustrating for countries like Namibia.

Health ministry executive director Ben Nangombe confirmed the country was due to receive 250 000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine by Friday afternoon.

At the moment, districts such as Swakopmund, Okahandja, Grootfontein, Katima Mulilo and Mariental are continuing with vaccination for the Sinopharm vaccine but not AstraZeneca because it has run out.

Namibia is set to receive AstraZeneca, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson doses between July and September this year.

The ministry issued a public notice on Monday this week, urging people not to panic, as more vaccines doses are expected this week.

"Kindly be informed that due to depletion of vaccines in Khomas region, there will be no vaccination open as from Tuesday (yesterday). However, the public should not panic; the ministry is expecting to receive new vaccines as soon as possible," said the health ministry.

The health ministry has also increased vaccination sites, with another 188 added to the rollout.

"We also have a distribution plan in place for when the different types of vaccines arrive in the country," said health ministry deputy executive director Petronella Masabane.

She told journalists the country has been allocated 100 620 doses of Pfizer vaccine as part of its purchase agreement with the Covax facility.

Thus far, only 30 964 people in Namibia have received both doses of the AstraZeneca and Sinopharm vaccine, while a total 131 677 have received the first doses.

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