Erongo’s low vaccination rate a source of concern – Governer

Sharlien Tjambari

Only 19 % of inhabitants of the Erongo Region have received their second dose of the Covid-19 vaccine and a total of 27 % received the first dose.

The Governor of Erongo, Neville Andre, during his weekly address to the media said these percentages are “unfortunate,” and that people need to make it a priority to get vaccinated in order to beat the Covid-19 pandemic.
Erongo has been among the hardest hit with lockdowns and other restrictions since the first Covid-19 cases were reported during March 2020. Inhabitants of the region need to understand that getting vaccinated will drastically curb the prevalence of Covid-19 and could steer the region and also the wider Namibia back to normality.
“For the past few months, we have observed positive signs with regard to Covid-19 in the region. This is a good sign. However, we should not drop our guard and forget about Covid-19. The fact that we even had one reported case means Covid-19 remains with us”, the Governor explained.

According to the Governor, it is very unfortunate to note that the Region has so far only vaccinated 27% of the targeted population with the first dose. Only 19% of the targeted population took their second dose. Itope said this is a worrisome sign and the region need to put more effort in doing better.
Adding: “As per the standard of the World Health Organisation we hope to push our vaccination rate so that by end of December we have a vaccination rate of 40%”
The Governor further expressed concern over the fact that it is mostly unvaccinated people dying of Covid-19 or who are hospitalised in a serious condition.
He explained teachers and the youth are perceived to be the most reluctant to get vaccinated. The spreading of misinformation is regarded as the main reason for that.
“We want to urge them to get vaccinated. It is important for them-selves and for their loved ones.
We are seeing cases in Europe and Asia picking up. Hence, we urge our residents to get vaccinated before we are hit by a fourth wave.”

The Director of Health in Erongo Region, Anna Jonas, at the briefing explained there has been a downward trend of Covid-19 cases as of August, September and October. Jonas further said hospitalisations dropped so significantly over this period that state medical facilities are operating as normal (pre-Covid).
Jonas also added her voice of concern over the low vaccination rate. “The festive season is upon us. If we are not careful, we may find ourselves in a very bad situation once more. We still have time for people to come forward and get vaccinated.”

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