Covid-19 vaccination for children over 12 on the horizon

Tujoromajo Kasuto

CHILDREN aged 12 years and older will soon be eligible to receive the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccines, as the Ministry of Health and Social Services (MOHSS) is looking into extending the vaccination to children.

MOHSS Executive Director (ED), Ben Nangombe, states that, “the health clusters and experts are looking into the available data and upon their recommendation the ministry will first inform the public before extending the vaccination approach.”

Similarly, the Executive Director of the Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture, Sanet Steenkamp, says the initiative will have the ministry’s “full support” once the various committees within the Health ministry are done examining and looking at it from a local perspective.

“We have more than 800 000 learners in Namibia, and our population is 2.5 million, so this is one third of our learners who are in schools that would have some sort of protection against the virus,” Steenkamp adds.

This comes as the 14 out the 48 cases reported on Sunday were schools learners with two teachers from two different schools. The country recently received 100 620 doses of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine from the United States of America (USA) through the COVAX Facility, being the only one recommended for persons who are 12 years and above.

According to media reports, the South African health regulator approved the administering of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine on children over the age of 12 years. Furthermore European countries like Denmark and Sweden, as well as and the USA and Canada, most of the children have been vaccinated with at least a single dose, from as early as this May.

Meanwhile, Namibia’s cumulative confirmed Covid-19 cases currently stand at 127 862 with 1207 active cases and by October 2 a total of 273 640 people have been administered with one dose of the Covid-19 vaccine, of which 16907 have received the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which is administered as one dose.

A total 175 654 have received two doses of either the AstraZeneca, Sputnik and Sinopharm vaccines. Only 192 561 have been inoculated, and only 7.8 percent of the population has been inoculated, about 52.2 percent short of the targeted 60 percent the country needs to reach herd immunity for the country return to normalcy.



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