Refugees in Jordan began receiving COVID-19 vaccinations on Thursday (14 Jan) as part of a national health plan that includes all citizens, refugees and residents.
The Jordanian Ministry of Health kicked off the vaccination campaign on Wednesday at 29 health centres across the Kingdom. Over 200,000 people have enrolled on the national platform vaccine.jo, and the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) is currently aware of 53 refugees who have already received vaccination appointments.
UNHCR has been supporting the government’s efforts by encouraging and helping refugees to sign-up for the vaccine and providing transportation to health clinics where needed.
Forty-three refugees from Al-Zaatari Refugee camp received the vaccine Thursday at the Chest and Diseases Centre in Mafraq, the nearest town to the camp, with more planned over the coming days.
As part of the country’s national COVID-19 vaccination plan, anyone living on Jordanian soil, including refugees and asylum seekers, is entitled to receive the vaccine free of charge. Only those refugees who are in one of the national priority categories will receive vaccinations initially. Others may follow as rollouts are scaled up.
UNHCR said it is continuously advocating at country, regional and global levels for refugees and other people it protects to be included in national strategies. As a priority, vaccines are being made available to the most vulnerable, such as older people, those with chronic diseases, or people who are immune-compromised, as well as healthcare workers and others with system-critical functions.
Jordan – which is host to some 750,000 refugees registered by UNHCR – introduced some of the most stringent lockdown measures in the world during the early phase of the pandemic in an effort to contain the spread of the virus.
The proportion of refugees that have tested positive for COVID-19 in the country has remained low at 1.6 per cent, compared with three per cent among the general Jordanian population.
UNHCR said, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, refugees have been generously included in the Government of Jordan’s the national response plan, able to access health care and medical treatment on par with Jordanian citizens-UNHCR
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