Youth leagues for or against Covid-19 vaccines

Rovaldo Kavanga
Wetumwene Shikage and Enzo Amuele

The Covid-19 pandemic has become the central talk of all people across the world. With the number of cases rising above the imagined figures, safety measures have been put in place to contain the virus. The Namibian government has called on all citizens to take precaution at all times by wearing masks correctly, keeping safe distances between oneself and the next person, a curfew has been implemented and alcohol sales restricted for a time. Additional to these is one of the options that bring a multitude of controversial ideas, getting vaccinated against the Covid-19 virus.

The youth make up a great percentage of those affected by the Covid-19 virus. They have been urged by different organisations and establishments to get vaccinated. Even with over 34 288 of Namibians having been fully vaccinated, many are sceptical with factors contributed by misconceptions and myths spread through social media and other uninformed websites, Namibian youth have been hesitant to get vaccinated with either Sinopharm or AstraZeneca vaccines, which are administered in Namibia.

Different political party youth leagues have expressed their views on the vaccines available in Namibia. The spokesperson of the People’s Democratic Movement Youth League, Maximalliant Katjimune, says the party remains cognisant that vaccines are at the centre of the fight against the coronavirus. “This is why we join the call by the president of the PDM, McHenry Venaani, for Namibians to go out in masses and get their jabs.” In the same vein, the PDM Youth League respects the diverse concerns about personal choice and liberty when it comes to the vaccines.

Katjimune added that people’s vaccination status is private, hence not mentioning whether members of the PDM Youth League have been vaccinated or not. He however assured that the PDM Youth League has joined the call, as articulated by the party, for Namibians to desist from misinformation about the vaccine.

The spokesperson of the National Unity Democratic Organisation Youth League, Veparura Kandirikirira, says it would help if the government could import different vaccines and not only Sinopharm and AstraZeneca, in order to give people more choice in the matter.

Kandirikirira added that the Nudo Youth League has social media platforms to emphasise how important vaccines are.

“What we do know is that the vaccines are effective in preventing people from acquiring serious illness. We encourage our youth party members to get vaccinated. Nudo Youth League understands that by taking part in supporting the vaccination of its members, we can play a crucial role in ending the pandemic. We do this through educating and making use of communication devices such as phone calls, text messages and emails,” he said.