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Jordan receives first shipment of China-UAE COVID vaccine

Gov’t vows to carry out vaccination drive in ‘fair, transparent manner’

By Rana Husseini - Jan 10,2021 - Last updated at Jan 10,2021

Jordan on Saturday night received the first shipment of the China-UAE Sinopharm vaccine (Petra photo)

AMMAN — Health officials on Sunday said the public will start receiving COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday in “a fair and transparent manner”.

The amounts of contracted COVID-19 vaccines are enough for 20 per cent of the Kingdom’s population, Health Minister Nathir Obeidat said on Sunday, assuring the public that there is no ceiling for the amount as long as there is a turnout to take the vaccine.

Jordan on Saturday night received the first shipment of the China-UAE Sinopharm vaccine.

The announcement came during a press conference that was held by Obeidat and Secretary General for Epidemics and Communicable Diseases Affairs Wael Hayajneh at the Prime Ministry.

Obeidat said that the Health Ministry took the necessary procedures to start giving the vaccine to the public as part of the National Vaccine Programme against COVID-19.

“Our utmost goal is the health and safety of our citizens and people living in Jordan,” Obeidat said.

The health minister said that the two approved vaccines by Jordan Food and Drug Administration so far are Pfizer and the UAE-China vaccines for emergency use.  

“We will receive vaccine shipments every week until we decide that we no longer need it,” he added.

The health minister also said that “people wishing to get the vaccine will not have a say in which one they prefer”.

“It will all be done in a fair and non-discriminatory manner and will be based on randomness and luck,” Obeidat added.

The minister was quick to point out that the vaccines alone are not enough “to deter the spread of the coronavirus”.

“The vaccine is not enough, and we need to abide by the health rules such as wearing a face mask, washing our hands and keeping a safe physical distance,” Obeidat stressed during the press conference.

Jordan ranks 41st worldwide in terms of countries that started vaccination against the virus, which is “an achievement”, Obeidat said, noting that Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Bisher Al Khasawneh and some other ministers have received the Chinese-UAE Sinopharm vaccine.

He also said that the first batch of Pfizer vaccines is expected to arrive in Jordan on Monday, with other batches to be arriving weekly until the entire share of the Kingdom arrives.

Hayajneh told reporters that the main goal is to inoculate as many people as possible.

“There are 29 main centres and 45 branches for people to resort to for the vaccines,” Hayajneh said.

The ministry official said that there are certain procedures that were adopted to transport the vaccines and several plans were put in place in the event of an untoward incident.

Hayajneh added that the ministry is constantly reaching out to other countries to secure more vaccines due to the huge demand.

He also stressed that “there might be some minor side effects to the vaccine, but they are not fatal”.

“Some might feel some sort of fatigue, bloating from the needle, rise in body temperature and other minor side effects,” Hayajneh added.

He noted that the ministry will release phone numbers in the upcoming days for people to report any health concerns that might arise after taking the vaccine.

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