Botswana News

The Southern Times

Tiri Masawi

Windhoek – COVID-19 vaccination programmes are in full swing across several Southern Africa, with Namibia this week commencing its rollout on March 19.

The country took delivery of 100,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccines donated by China this week. They were delivered in Windhoek by Air Zimbabwe courtesy of the Zimbabwe government.

The Comoros, Mauritius, Seychelles, South Africa and Zimbabwe have all started vaccinating citizens, with Namibia joining them as of today (March 19); while the DRC has suspended rollout of the AstraZeneca vaccine pending scientific analysis on its efficacy. Botswana is expected to start its vaccination programme this month.

Namibia’s Health Minister Dr Kalumbu Shangula said of the Sinopharm vaccine, “It is a two-dose vaccine of 0.5ml, administered at Day 0 and Day 28. Individuals confirmed as positive with COVID-19 must wait for 90 days before receiving their first dose.

“The vaccine has been rolled-out in countries such as China, Seychelles, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Zimbabwe and others.”

Dr Shangula added: “I take this opportunity to pay tribute and express our sincere gratitude to the government of the Peoples Republic of China for their selfless generosity in donating the COVID19 Vaccine to Namibia. This is a demonstration of true solidarity and friendship between our two countries.

“At the same time, I wish to sincerely thank the fraternal government and people of the Republic of Zimbabwe for literally going out of their way, to help deliver Namibia’s first consignment of the COVID-19 vaccine from the People’s Republic of China.

“Our brothers and sisters from Zimbabwe graciously agreed to deliver this consignment so that we can roll out our vaccination campaign. Like other countries, Namibia views the COVID-19 vaccine as a critical tool in returning our country to normalcy. We believe that a safe, effective and well-planned COVID-19 vaccination programme will put our country on a trajectory towards reaching the required levels of herd immunity and eventually overcoming the pandemic.”

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