AB InBev Namibia drives vaccination uptake through information campaign

Michelline Nawatises
Anheuser-Busch InBev Namibia Breweries (AB InBev Namibia), a proud member of the world’s largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev, hosted vaccine information sessions in order to answer employee concerns and drive vaccination uptake within the business.

Namibia has experienced one of the highest Covid-19 infection rates in the world, and just 1.8% of its population is fully vaccinated against the virus.[1]

In order to drive vaccination uptake amongst employees and combat the myths associated with vaccination, AB InBev Namibia organised vaccine information sessions with Dr Bernard Haufiku, the former minister of health and former special advisor to the presidency, and Dr Emmanuel Nepolo, head of the Unam Molecular Diagnostic Laboratory and research scientist.

The information sessions were convened after an internal survey showing that approximately 64% of employees had not yet been vaccinated. Employees were hesitant based on concerns around the vaccines’ efficacy, side effects, and effect on those with pre-existing conditions.

The key message from Dr Haufiku was that “While the vaccines are not a physical shield against Covid-19, they do protect you from severe symptoms, hospitalization and ultimately death.”

Both speakers emphasised that the public should not be hesitant on the basis that vaccines were developed quickly, because they were still governed by strict regulations. Both the speakers urged that the public continue to adhere to public health protocols in order to prevent contracting the virus.

The employees found the virtual sessions very informative and asked numerous questions regarding the vaccines available in Namibia (AstraZeneca and Sinopharm) and the immunity provided by each.

Alexanderie Basson, legal & corporate affairs manager, AB InBev Namibia, said: “Vaccination is our best chance, nationally and globally, to defeat the coronavirus. Namibia’s healthcare system is under severe pressure. Every vaccination gets us a step closer to population immunity, which helps individuals, communities and the country. We are committed to supporting government’s vaccination goals, and will continue to drive vaccine awareness through our communication campaigns.

AB InBev Namibia has also launched a social media campaign spotlighting employees who have taken the vaccine in order to increase vaccination uptake.