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New COVID vaccination campaign targets people above 16, vaccine-hesitant segment

Health Ministry, USAID and Royal Health Awareness Society join hands for vaccination campaign

By Batool Ghaith - Jul 07,2021 - Last updated at Jul 07,2021

Health Minister Feras Al Hawari and USAID’s Mission Director Sherry Carlin attend the launching of national COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Tuesday (Photo courtesy of USAID)

AMMAN — The Ministry of Health launched a national COVID-19 vaccination campaign on Tuesday, with support from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Royal Health Awareness Society, under the slogan “Don’t hesitate, protect yourself and protect others with the vaccine”.

The campaign encourages people over 16 years old to register for the vaccine on the government online platform.

This campaign follows two vaccine awareness campaigns, the “I Protect Them” campaign, launched in November 2020, and another vaccine campaign launched in May 2021, USAID stated.

According to USAID, the campaign is supported by the American people through USAID’s “Community Health and Nutrition” project, which is implemented by Family Health International (FHI 360) and their local partner the Royal Health Awareness Society.

Health Minister Feras Al Hawari stressed the need to deliver credible messages about the COVID-19 vaccine. “This will help increase public awareness on the importance of getting the vaccine, its effectiveness, and the serious threats of COVID-19 and its new variants as well,” he said during the campaign launch event on Tuesday.

Hawari indicated that many countries had trouble obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine, due to a lack of supply and the high demand but, “Jordan put its name on the list of the first countries to receive the vaccine, thanks to our wise Hashemite leadership and our strong international relations,” he added.

Hawari praised USAID’s support of the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus throughout the Kingdom.

USAID’s Mission Director Sherry Carlin called on everyone to “roll up their sleeves and get the vaccine as soon as it is offered”.

Carlin emphasised the importance of the vaccine for getting people back to work. “Getting vaccinated will give everyone the immunity to be able to go back to their jobs and their offices, and start earning the incomes that they may have lost in the last year-and-a-half,” Carlin told The Jordan Times during an interview on Tuesday.

Carlin highlighted how critical the vaccine is for Jordan’s economy. “It is something that we are working on every day with the Jordanian government,” she said. 

USAID has been supporting Jordan in multiple ways since the pandemic. “When the pandemic began, we looked across our entire portfolio to see how we can shift programmes that would support Jordan during COVID-19, not only from a health perspective but from an educational and economic perspective as well,” Carlin noted.

In addition to the health sector, USAID helped the Ministry of Education to ensure children received virtual education, according to Carlin. USAID helped students without access to computers get textbooks so they could continue their education, Carline said.

She also added how USAID supported the National Aid Fund and the “Estedama” (sustainability) programme to ensure the population received funding to continue their lives during the pandemic lockdowns.

Carlin stated that boosting Jordan’s economic recovery is a top priority of the United States.

Abeer Mowaswas, head of the Directorate of Health Awareness and Media at the Health Ministry, presented the campaign’s goals and objectives during the launching event.

According to the presentation, the campaign targets hesitant adults who are not sure about the vaccine, particularly those over the age of 45 who are at greater risk of severe COVID-19 symptoms.

“By the end of the campaign, people will be able to realise and believe that the vaccine is the best and only way to protect themselves, their families and everyone else, and to be able to return safely to their jobs and lives,” Mowaswas said during her presentation.

The campaign is based on nationwide research to understand why people choose to be vaccinated or not. It will provide accurate information about the vaccine through television, radio, indoor and outdoor billboards and social media ads.

Mowaswas praised the Ministry of Health, USAID and the Royal Health Awareness Society for combating the virus and encouraging people to get vaccinated.  

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