Prayer Is Preferred to Covid Vaccine in Namibia, Survey Shows

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Almost two-thirds of Namibians believe prayer is more effective at preventing Covid-19 than a vaccine, and the majority of people in the southern African nation are concerned about the safety of the inoculations, according to a survey.

Half of Namibians say they’re unlikely to try and get vaccinated even if the government says the vaccine is safe, Afrobarometer said in a study dated June 2 published on its website. Slow vaccine uptake in Namibia is “of great concern” with the threat of a third wave of infections looming, it said.

Namibia started its vaccination campaign in March this year and has so far inoculated about 5% of the total target population of 1.5 million people. The nation has recorded a sharp increase in Covid-19 fatalities, with the country recording 307 deaths in the past two months out of a total of 865 since the pandemic began a year ago.

“It is critical and urgent for more people to get vaccinated so that the country can reach herd immunity to prevent new infections and reduce the severity of illness for those who get infected,” Health Minister Kalumbi Shangula said by phone on Thursday. “I urge Namibians to present themselves to the vaccination points and get vaccinated.”

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