No side effects of AstraZeneca vaccine recorded in Namibia

The Ministry of Health and Social Services has assured Namibians who received the now discontinued AstraZeneca Covid vaccine that no side effects have been recorded and there is no cause for concern.

This comes after pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca announced the withdrawal of the Covid vaccine last week.

The BBC has reported that the rise of new coronavirus variants has seen demand shift to updated vaccines.

Speaking to The Namibian yesterday, ministry executive director Ben Nangombe said the ministry discontinued the use of the AstraZeneca Covid vaccine towards the end of last year.

“The surveillance that was conducted by the ministry has not indicated any adverse effects related to the AstraZeneca vaccine. We are monitoring the situation in light of this recent announcement of the discontinued use of the vaccine,” Nangombe said.

“Before a person is vaccinated, several steps are typically taken to ensure safety and effectiveness. We assess the individual’s medical history, current health status and any allergies or contra indications to vaccination. Based on our current observation after using this vaccine, we have not recorded any effects,” Nangombe said.

According to Nangombe, despite the fact that some vaccines may have side effects, the recalling of a vaccine or medicine is based on the abundance of caution.

He noted that events such as the recalling of a vaccine or a medicine rarely occur and are done in the best interest of people.

He also noted that the AstraZeneca vaccine was one of the vaccines with the highest demand.

Nangombe assured those who received the AstraZeneca vaccine not to worry, but noted that if anyone feels unwell, they should visit a hospital for a medical assessment.


According to the BBC, after more than three billion doses, the vaccine was estimated to have saved millions of lives during the pandemic.

However, it has allegedly also caused rare and sometimes fatal blood clots.

The Covid vaccine was developed by scientists at the University of Oxford in record time.

The BBC reported that according to a media statement, AstraZeneca said: “According to independent estimates, over 6,5 million lives were saved in the first year of use alone.

“Our efforts have been recognised by governments around the world and are widely regarded as being a critical component of ending the global pandemic.”

It said the development of new vaccines that more closely match the mutated forms of Covid currently circulating meant there was a “surplus of available updated vaccines”, leading to a “decline in demand” for its vaccine which is “no longer being manufactured or supplied”.

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