With the end of the year approaching, Minister of Health and Social Services Dr Kalumbi Shangula has called on Namibians to get vaccinated, saying history has shown that COVID-19 cases rise during the festive season, given its many gatherings.
Shangula made the call on Monday while receiving 201 600 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine donated by the Federal Republic of Germany to Namibia.
He said COVID-19 cases tend to pick up during festive periods, when there are higher numbers of gatherings, especially family gatherings, and also travel.
“I urge all fellow countrymen and women to get vaccinated so that before the end of November the vast majority of the eligible population is vaccinated and protected from possible COVID-19 illness and hospitalisation. We owe it to ourselves, our loved ones, our communities and the nation at large to get vaccinated,” Shangula said.
He emphasised that it has been demonstrated in many countries, including Namibia, that persons who are not vaccinated are at greater risk of experiencing severe COVID-19 illness and losing their lives. COVID-19 deaths recorded in the country over the past few months were almost exclusively of persons who had not been vaccinated, the minister added.
“Now that the country has a strong portfolio of vaccines available, I strongly encourage all eligible persons within our borders to go out in numbers and get vaccinated. Vaccination is the best weapon we have against COVID-19,” Shangula said.
The minister however also cautioned those who have been vaccinated to continue taking all the necessary precautions and to not adopt a carefree attitude, noting that being vaccinated does not mean caution should be thrown to the wind.
Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Jenelly Matundu, who spoke at the same event, called on Namibians to get vaccinated.
She said while Namibia needs to vaccinated at least 60 percent of its population to reach herd immunity, only less than seven per cent of the population has been fully vaccinated, leaving the country with a vaccination deficit of least 53.6 per cent.
“Controlling the COVID-19 pandemic, reviving the economy and livelihoods while saving lives is key to ensuring continued efforts of the development agenda. Ensuring that more people are vaccinated is one of the few weapons we have,” she said.
Source: Namibia Press Agency (NAMPA)