Nearly 48 000 take booster shots

• By Rosalia David

THE Minister of Health and Social Services,  Kalumbi Shangula has said that as of Tuesday, the total number of eligible persons who have received booster doses stood at 47 829, a 56.5% increase, from the 30 554.

Shangula mentioned this while speaking at the 42nd Covid-19 public briefing on Wednesday.

He said with the figure increasing, the ministry will continue to implore more people to enhance their protection by going for the booster vaccines.

“Scientific evidence points to added benefit of boosters or additional doses,” Shangula said.

In the same breath, Shangula added that the global target is to vaccinate 70% of countries’ populations to make an impact on the pandemic.

According to the minister, by 10th April 2022, a total of 467 148 persons have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine nationally. Of these, 465 914 are persons aged 18 years and above, while 16 210 are children aged 12-17 years old. Collectively, 399 304 (22.4%) eligible persons are fully vaccinated countrywide.

“The average daily vaccination uptake keeps fluctuating but remains very low at 491 for the first dose, and 191 for the second dose per day,” he said.

The minister also said, the school vaccination campaigns have ignited a positive movement for vaccination among the youth in the country.

According to Shangula of those who took their first dose are children and adolescents between the ages of 12-17 years.

He said the early lessons from the campaign show eagerness from the youth to get vaccinated, once they are fully educated and provided with factual information about the vaccines and their benefits.

“In terms of vaccine stock, I assure the nation that Namibia has enough stock of vaccines. As at 5 April 2022, the stock level at Central Medical Store was 746 290 doses of Sinopharm, AstraZeneca, J&J and Pfizer combined.”

In the meantime, on Tuesday the country has recorded a total of 157 914 COVID- 19 cases out of the 992 038 samples tested while active cases have increased from 222 during the previous briefing to 296 current.

The ministry further recorded 7 deaths bringing the number of deaths to 4 021 since the beginning of the pandemic.

The number of deaths decreased from 19 deaths reported during the preceding 28 days to 7 deaths reported during the period of 25 days of this dispensation, a decline of 63.2%.

Moreover, the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals congruently decreased to an average of 12 per day as compared to 22 reported during the preceding 25 days.

The ministry further revealed that the number of COVID-19 patients admitted to Intensive Care Units (ICUs) has dropped from 4 to 0 cases.

“In the meantime, the laboratory pillar of the COVID-19 response in Namibia is working closely with UNAM for Genomic surveillance and testing of samples from school clusters. So far, 37 samples have been submitted to UNAM for genomic sequencing,” he said.