Namibia has had to destroy more than 150,000 doses of expired COVID-19 vaccines due to the slow response to the government’s vaccination programme, President Hage Geingob announced on Monday.
Addressing the media in Windhoek, Geingob criticised Namibians who were sceptical of his government’s vaccination drive, saying they were risking the lives of others by refusing to receive the life-saving jabs that are being offered free of charge countrywide.
“It is highly regrettable that we are forced to destroy in excess of 150,000 vaccines, which have reached expiry date because those who are eligible are refusing to be vaccinated,” Geingob said.
The Namibian government has bought thousands of doses of vaccines from manufacturers and through the COVAX facility, while others have been received through donations.
“Instead of throwing away vaccines, citizens who wish to go for booster jabs are encouraged to do so,” he said.
Geingob revealed that local scientists have detected cases of the recently discovered Omicron variant.
“Regrettably, I am told by our specialists that we have been able to detect 18 cases of the Omicron variant in Namibia, of which evidence before us suggests easier spread concerning multiple mutations and reinfection.”
He warned that his government may be forced to announce new measures to fight against COVID-19 on 15 December if the current spike in cases is not contained.
“If we don’t change our habits, the government will be left with no choice and with no option but to take stricter measures ahead of the festive season."