Namibia approves COVID vaccination for children

November 12, 2021

Health minister Kalumbi Shangula has announced that the Pfizer vaccine will now also be administered to adolescents between the ages of 12 to 17 years.

However, legal consent would need to be obtained from the children’s legal guardians or parents, he said on Friday during his COVID-19 Update.

“Among the vaccines available in Namibia, the Pfizer vaccine is recommended for this age group. Legal informed consent for vaccination of children shall be obtained from parents or guardians who opt to have their children vaccinated.The expansion of vaccination to this age group will be done in a phased approach, starting with adolescents 12-17 years who are at increased risk of severe illness, hospitalization and death. However, all adolescents in this age group are encouraged to go for vaccination,” Shangula said.

According to official figures as at 11 November 2021, a total of 343 482 persons or 22.9% of the eligible population in the country had received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccination, while 279 765 persons or 18.6% are fully vaccinated.

“It is a serious concern that the overall vaccination uptake in the country has declined in the past few weeks. This is despite the initiatives being rolled out to increase uptake,” he said.

According to Shangula, during the months of July to September 2021, the daily vaccination uptake stood between 3 500 and 4000 and over 20 000 per week from all regions.

“This has declined to less than 1 900 per day and just above 10 000 vaccines administered per week. This trend must be changed for Namibia to reach the vaccination target by the end of the current Financial Year. In order to achieve herd immunity, we need to do more, lest we stand the risk of finding ourselves caught up in future Covid-19 waves,” he said.

On mixing of vaccines , he said, “research is on-going to understand whether COVID-19 vaccines can be safely and effectively mixed and matched. Currently, WHO does not recommend the mixing and matching of vaccines.”

On booster doses of vaccines, he said, “any decision to administer booster doses must be evidence-based, context specific and consider the benefits and risks for individuals and society. Therefore, the immediate priority for Namibia is to continue to vaccinate the unvaccinated population to achieve the set targets before booster doses can be considered.”

On Medical Aid Funds contribution to vaccination, Shangula said, “government has been engaging Medical Aid Funds, through Namibia Association of Medical AID Fund to explore avenues for Medical Aid Funds to contribute towards COVID-19 vaccination for their members and their dependents through the public sector. Technical consultations were concluded and recommended that an amount of N$713.68 per dose will be contributed by medical aid funds for each member or beneficiary vaccinated.”

Amendments to Regulations

  • Public gathering are increased from the current number of 200 to 500 persons per event 
  • Sale of alcohol shall be subjected to the conditions of the licenses issued under the Liquor Act of 1998 and the regulations made thereunder.
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Last modified on Tuesday, 16 November 2021 19:46

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