Feature: Namibians embrace COVID-19 vaccination in hopes of regaining normalcy

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Namibia's Deputy Minister of Health Esther Utjiua Muinjangue (L) receives a jab of the COVID-19 vaccine at Windhoek Central Hospital in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, March 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Musa C Kaseke)
Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Health Esther Utjiua Muinjangue (L) receives a jab of the COVID-19 vaccine at Windhoek Central Hospital in Windhoek, capital of Namibia, March 19, 2021. (Xinhua/Musa C Kaseke)

Namibians from diverse backgrounds are embracing the COVID-19 vaccines donated by China as a relief and long-term solution to normalizing their lifestyles which were hampered by the COVID-19 pandemic.

To the many Namibians whose lives have been changed by the pandemic, the advent of a vaccination program is also a new chapter to mend their livelihoods that were lost while providing them with the surety of safety in a difficult era.

A cross-section of ordinary Namibians who spoke to Xinhua during the launch of a nationwide inoculation programme by Minister of Health Kalumbi Shangula on Friday said they are keen to get vaccinated and are in support of the government initiative.

So keen to be vaccinated are many Namibians that they are calling on the government to prioritize the poor that live in informal settlements who are more exposed to the pandemic because of overpopulation and poor access to sanitation and health facilities.

Chris Mbaitjikua who works as a civil servant in Windhoek said he could not wait to get inoculated so he can start normalizing his life.

“I really wanted to be the first person to get vaccinated but I am on duty and today they only launched the program. I will come back tomorrow with my family and I also encourage all Namibians to take the vaccine,” he said.

“It is important to see that this program (vaccination) being implemented by the government with the help of China is meant to benefit all of us. We need to support it,” he said.

Another Namibian informal trader Filippus Uushona who specializes in selling grilled meat, better known as Kapana in the Oshiwambo vernacular, also welcomed the introduction of the vaccination program saying it will allow many small businesses to normalize their work.

“For me, this is a good opportunity to live a normal life. I want to get vaccinated as soon as possible since it is also being done for free so I can start operating my business normally. Other Namibians should do the same and contribute to fighting COVID-19,” Uushona said.

Mekondjo Erasmus, a teacher by profession, told Xinhua that the launch of the vaccination will bring relief to many Namibians.

“I am glad that after a long time we are now in a position to deal with this pandemic scientifically. I will definitely get vaccinated and the government has always run other different vaccination programmes efficiently so I expect them to carry out this one efficiently. I also want my family members to take the vaccine for the public good,” she said.

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