THERE is no need to panic.
The widespread allegations that members of the Namibian Defence Force (NDF) are resisting the compulsory vaccination order issued recently by their commander, Martin Pinehas, hold no water.
This was said by Major Tangeni Shikomba, the NDF public relations officer.
Speaking exclusively to Informanté, Maj. Shikomba said that many NDF members were voluntarily inoculated against COVID-19 long before the order was given and many others were in the process of being vaccinated.
“The vaccine is the only way out of this pandemic,” he said.
The head of the NDF gave the compulsory vaccination order using 81(1) of the Defence Act 1 of 2002, that says: “Any member of the Defense Force or any auxiliary services, medical service or reserve force may be required to submit to, and if so required must submit to, immunization or prophylaxis against such communicable, infectious or epidemic illness as may be determined from time to time by a prescribed authority.”
Shikomba said that the allegations of soldiers resisting orders are myths emanating from outside the defence force.
He further said that there certainly are some individual soldiers who have a negative view of the COVID-19 vaccines, but they are neither the majority nor resisting orders.
There is currently a movement against vaccination in general, and the NDF order in particular, but Maj. Shikomba says that such a movement is exclusively spearheaded by people who are not soldiers.
An anti-vaccine movement launched an online petition on 7 October, with the deadline for signing set for today before it is handed over to State House later this week.
The petition demands that the current COVID-19 vaccination be stopped altogether.