NRU urges players to get vaccinated

By Michael Uugwanga

WITH the Ministry of Health and Social Services last week having given a go ahead for at least 100 spectators allowed into stadiums, the Namibia Rugby Union (NRU) has therefore urged rugby players to get vaccinated against Covid-19.
Dr Kalumbi Shangula, the Minister of Health and Social Services made the statement on the occasion of the 27th Covid-19 briefing on April 29.
According to Covid-19 regulation (7)A, restrictions relating to sporting activities state that spectators at events shall not exceed 100 persons and shall comply with Covid-19 protocols.
The ministry of health has established a total of 383 Covid vaccination sites in different health districts around the country.
Of these, 181 are fixed, 154 are mobile and 48 are outreach points. So far, more than 20 315 persons have been vaccinated around the country following the rollout of the nationwide vaccination programme.
The vaccination programme is being rolled out under the auspices of the Expanded Programme on Immunisation (EPI), through which the ministry has implemented vaccination campaigns in the past.
This approach means that the ministry does not have to create new structures and capacities to roll out the Covid-19 vaccination programme, rather, it is harnessing existing knowledge, expertise, facilities and infrastructure already in place.
It is against this background that NRU is seeing the presence of the vaccination as a lasting solution to see the return of more fans into stadiums in the near future.
Only time will tell if rugby players will go for vaccinations and if the players manage to go for vaccination, this could result in other unions or other sport federations/associations doing the same for their athletes.
In a press statement NRU president Corrie Mensah urged the players to set a good example to other sport codes.
“Getting vaccinated will not only help protect all of us from getting severe Covid-19, but will ensure that rugby can be played in a safe environment. There is no doubt that the advantages of getting vaccinated by far outweigh the disadvantages, if any. We as a rugby community should go beyond merely hoping that no one gets infected. Getting vaccinated should be done not only to protect one self, but also to safeguard family, officials, teammates and fellow spectators,” said Mensah.