Communities flock to pop-up vaccination sites

10 September 2021 | Social Issues

Windhoek • [email protected]

Close to 450 Covid-19 vaccines were administered at two pop-up vaccination stations spearheaded by the Office of the First Lady since last week.
At the first vaccine pop-up site on 1 September, 118 persons lined up to be jabbed at the Katutura Industrial Stalls. On Wednesday this week, 329 doses were administered at Oshetu Community Market in Single Quarters.
This was the second of the #LoveProtects vaccination campaign’s series of pop-up vaccination sites, and the number far outstripped the 100 per pop-up site vaccine target.
The campaign is a response to a call by Namibians who struggle to access fixed vaccine centres.
“People said it's not that we don’t want to get vaccinated, but we can’t leave our jobs, because we need to create an income. But if the vaccines come to us, we will get vaccinated,” Hilma Petrus from the Office of the First Lady said on Wednesday.
As more and more community members lined up to get the jab on Wednesday, First Lady Monica Geingos, and several doctors and nurses engaged with the community to provide answers to a number of burning questions around the vaccines and Covid-19.
Geingos on Wednesday emphasised that it's crucial to get the vaccines during a lull in the pandemic, compared to the devastating third wave. “When there is a crisis we react. When we see people dying, we react,” she said, pointing out that vaccination uptakes rose steeply at the time.
She encouraged the community to make use of the current shorter queues, the abundance of vaccines, and the vaccination centres and pop-ups to ensure they are able to survive a potential fourth wave. “There is no reason, when the fourth waves comes, for us to see long queues again in our panic.”

On the ground
The pop-up vaccination programme is a joint project between FLON’s #LoveProtects initiative in collaboration with the City of Windhoek, OmniCare Trust and Vaccines for Hope.
The pop-ups are not only centred on bringing vaccines to the doorstep of people, but also to help bring communities together with experts to help dispel myths and misinformation.
Wednesday’s event included talks by Dr Esperance Luvindao, Dr Tame Sylvester and Dr Kaveto Sikuvi, who answered numerous questions posed by those curious to get vaccinated, or already in line to get the jab.
Post-jab recipients were gifted with care packages that included a meal voucher, soft drink, painkillers, N$20 airtime, masks, hand sanitiser spray, vaccine pamphlet and a t-shirt.
The pop-ups will continue on a frequent basis until 27 October.

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