Namibia: Covid-19 Vaccination Hesitancy Still Stumbling Block in Fighting Pandemic

Trust related issues continue to drive COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Namibia, as many voice concerns about the safety and possible side effects of the vaccine, a recent survey released this week said.

Overall Namibians are quite satisfied with the government’s handling of the pandemic, including its efforts to limit disruptions to children’s education and to keep health facilities stocked with resources to deal with the pandemic, an Afrobarometer survey added.

“But they are less satisfied with government’s distribution of aid relief, and a majority believe that resources meant for fighting the pandemic were lost due to corruption,” the survey noted.

According to the survey, the prevailing vaccine hesitancy remains a cause for concern.

“Although most travel restrictions, mask requirements, and other social distancing measures have been lifted to aid the hard-hit tourism sector, the industry remains concerned about its prospects due to high vaccine hesitancy and the threat of another wave of infections,” the survey added.

Among citizens who say they are unlikely to get vaccinated, a majority are worried about getting a fake or counterfeit vaccine (23%); they don’t think the vaccine is safe (14%); they don’t trust the government to ensure that the vaccine is safe (12%); they fear that the vaccine may cause COVID-19 or bad side effects (7%); they don’t trust the source of the vaccine (2%), or they think the vaccine was developed too quickly (2%), while others believe that God will protect them against COVID-19 (7%), the survey expanded.

The ministry of health meanwhile on Monday announced that the country is to destroy more than 300,000 expired COVID-19 vaccine doses.

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