THE Ministry of Health and Social Services has announced that it will commence with the country’s vaccination program tomorrow, 19 March, in Windhoek, Swakopmund and Walvis Bay using the Chinese donated vaccine, Sinopharm.
Dr. Kalumbi Shangula, while launching the country’s national COVID-19 Deployment and Vaccination Plan (NDVP) today, noted that while there is no region in Namibia that was spared from the virus, a nationwide roll-out to other districts is scheduled from 19 April 2021.
Frontline healthcare workers, persons who are between 18 to 59 years, persons in closed settings and those operating cross-border transportations, as well as employees at points of entry, police officers, journalists, members of the diplomatic corps, mining and fisheries sector employees, religious and traditional leaders, people with disabilities, minorities and refugees will be prioritised in phase one.
Persons with comorbidities, those older than 60 years, as well as pregnant and lactating women will be excluded from the first phase.
He added that a national COVID-19 vaccines taskforce was established in August 2020 and the mandate of this multisectoral, multidisciplinary taskforce is to see to it that Namibia introduces COVID-19 vaccines.
The taskforce is further divided in functional subgroups, which focus on vaccine acquisition, cold chain and logistics management; training, service delivery and supervision; safety and regulatory approval; monitoring, evaluation and research; scientific and clinical evaluation; and financing and procurement and coordination.
He further explained that supervisory and monitoring visits will be conducted to all sites which will be providing COVID-19 vaccination.
Dr. Shangula further stated that vaccination has shown reduction in severe COVID-19 cases and mortalities and has also been shown to prevent hospitalisation of the coronavirus confirmed cases.