No, the vaccinated are not dying in droves and Africa is not being depopulated

Image: Namibia Fact Check / WhatsApp

A video clip of controversial personality Michael Amushelelo making false COVID-19 vaccine claims continues to circulate virally on WhatsApp.

In the eight-minute and 45-second (08:45) video clip, which first went viral in March 2021 shortly after Namibia’s COVID-19 vaccination drive started, Amushelelo makes various claims which are demonstrably false.

While he makes many false claims, Namibia Fact Check only decided to debunk three of his claims.

Claim 1: “Many of the people who have taken the vaccine, many of them have started dying”

Michael Amushelelo starts off by stating that he has heard from “individuals” who work at Katutura Intermediate Hospital that “people who have taken the vaccine … have started dying”.

Amushelelo claims that the vaccines are killing people, not COVID-19.

The facts:

To date, by 30 June 2021, not a single COVID-19 linked death in Namibia since the vaccination drive commenced in mid-March 2021 has been ascribed to a vaccine. 

By 30 June 2021, Namibia had vaccinated (1st dose) 121 000 people, of which 24 862 had been fully vaccinated. There is no evidence of mass deaths among these vaccinated people. 

On 28 May 2021, the health ministry started reporting the vaccination status of all those who have died due to COVID-19. 

From 28 May to 30 June 2021, 761 deaths were announced, but just 16 deaths were of people who had been vaccinated – 13 first doses and three fully vaccinated (two doses).  

On 28 June 2021, the Ministry of Health and Social Services also issued an ‘Information Note’ on vaccinations that debunked the claim of mass deaths among the vaccinated.

So, there is no evidence of a mass die-off of vaccinated people. 

Michael Amushelelo’s claim is FALSE.

Claim 2: COVID-19 vaccines are meant to depopulate Africa

Michael Amushelelo claims that the vaccines are meant to depopulate Africa, or as he claims, to kill off young Africans.

The facts:

However, the fact is that Africa is the least vaccinated continent against COVID-19, with the continent lagging far behind the rest of the world in vaccination rates. 

By 30 June 2021, over three billion vaccine doses had been administered worldwide, with only about 50 million having been administered in Africa. 

In other words, only 2.64% of Africa’s population had received at least one vaccine dose. That is way below the global average of 23.52%. Every other continent has much higher vaccination rates than Africa, as the graph below illustrates.

This graph shows that Africa is right at the bottom of COVID-19 vaccinations.

So, there clearly is no evidence of an Africa-focused depopulation campaign using COVID-19 vaccines. In fact, if depopulation is the motive behind the vaccines, then it seems the intention is to depopulate the rest of the world and not Africa. 

Michael Amushelelo’s claim is FALSE.

Claim 3: “China, where this flu is coming from, didn’t use vaccines, but as far as I know China has coronavirus under control”

Michael Amushelelo claims that China didn’t and hasn’t used vaccines to combat COVID-19. 

This is of course far from the truth, as China was in fact the first country to start vaccinating against the disease.

The facts:

China was the first country to roll out a vaccine when it started using the Sinopharm vaccine in July 2020. 

By mid-June 2021, China had vaccinated over 43% of its population with at least one vaccine dose. 

So, Michael Amushelelo’s claim is FALSE.

The statements, information and/or data referenced in this article have been assessed and found to be false.

2nd July 2021

Frederico Links

Frederico Links is the editor and lead researcher of Namibia Fact Check and a research associate at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR)