by John-Colin Namene
THE Covid-19 vaccination rollout went into full gear in Windhoek when the Lady Pohamba Private Hospital, constructed a vaccination centre under the guidance of the Ministry of Health and Social Services on Monday.
This comes after the Katutura Intermediate Hospital, the Windhoek Central Hospital and the Rhino Park Private Hospital had already established their vaccination centres and started administering vaccines.
General manager of the Lady Pohamba hospital, Hannelie Botha, on Wednesday urged members of the public to get vaccinated against Covid-19 as a starts to the fight against the virus.
The vaccination at the centre started on Monday and more than 167 shots of the Astrazeneca have been administered since.
Botha said the Ministry of Health and Social Services approached the hospital to assist in the vaccination campaign and they provided staff members and resources. Botha encouraged school staff members, to make use of the vaccination rollout as teachers are more prone to getting infected with the virus.
She also encouraged members in the corporate sector to get vaccinated as they are as much at risk as the average person.
“Employees in companies can come during their lunch hour to get vaccinated,” she added.
The Rhino Park Private Hospital was the first private hospital to offer assistance in the campaign on 16 April 2021 and has administered more than 142 vaccines.
Wendy Oweses, a nurse from the health ministry administers the vaccine to people who come to Rhino Park hospital.
She says that the rollout started out extremely slow because the public was not aware that Rhino Park has a vaccination centre.
“Slowly but surely, we are getting there. As each day passes, the number of clients coming in is increasing. Wednesday saw the largest number of people we vaccinated,” she added.
Owoses said the only challenge for the rollout is the shortage of staff.
The two private hospitals only administer the Astrazeneca vaccine as that is the only one available in the country that has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Sinopharm from China has been approved by the Ministry of Health but is still to be approved by WHO.
The Katutura Intermediate Hospital and the Windhoek Central Hospital administer the Astrazeneca and Sinopharm vaccinations. Both hospitals have started administering the second dose of the Sinopharm vaccine.
At the Lady Pohamba private hospital, a list of precautions for members of the public wishing to get vaccinated are on display. These are guided by the ministry of health and WHO.
Pregnant women are not advised to take the vaccine while people younger than 18 years are also not allowed to be vaccinated as the vaccine has not been tested on that age group.
Members of the public who have experienced negative reactions to other vaccinations are also not advised to get vaccinated.
People with a history of allergic reactions to any medications are also advised not to get vaccinated. Members of the public who have a condition that suppresses the immune system such as HIV and AIDS, chemotherapy or have used steroids regularly should also not get vaccinated. People over 60 years can get the Astrazeneca vaccine.
All vaccination centres follow the guidelines of the ministry of health because they are in control of the management and administering of the vaccines.
Senior registered nurse at the Windhoek Central Hospital, Evi Ileka, says getting vaccinated against Covid-19 is the right thing to do.
“Regardless of what the people outside there say, this is the only way to stop the virus,” she added.
Junias Nashipili, who was vaccinated at the Windhoek Central Hospital says people do not have to believe everything they read or hear.
“We make decisions on our own and I decided to conduct research on the vaccine I got today. Besides, there are many vaccines as well so people can choose any one they are comfortable with,” he said.