AMMAN: Jordan on Wednesday discussed with Russia the possibility of obtaining the COVID-19 vaccine Sputnik V, to be added to the list of jabs approved so far by the kingdom’s health authorities.
“We discussed ongoing cooperation in coronavirus combat and the possibility of getting the Russian Sputnik V vaccine to be given to Jordanians and refugees alike,” Jordan’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Ayman Safadi said after meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow on Wednesday.
“We in Jordan pay attention to refugees the same degree as to Jordanians. The first refugee to be vaccinated in the world was in Jordan.”
The kingdom, which began a mass immunization campaign early in January, has so far approved the Chinese Sinopharm and the US-German Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines.
Jordan’s Health Minister Nathir Obeidat has said priority is being given to the elderly with chronic conditions, and those with the highest exposure such as frontline health care workers. The vaccines are free of charge to foreign residents as well as Jordanians, he added.
The kingdom’s health officials have been reiterating that the vaccines are safe, and are urging Jordanians to register on the relevant website.
King Abdullah and the crown prince were vaccinated on Jan. 14. “I received the vaccine, in line with public health recommendations. And I made it a point to take the vaccine in front of cameras so that everyone realizes that it is a safe and easy process,” the king told the Jordan News Agency.
“I experienced some mild side effects, and I felt tired and had trouble sleeping for a couple of days after receiving the shot, but that is a small price to pay compared with actually catching the virus.”
Jordan has to date recorded 329,194 cases of COVID-19 and 4,334 related deaths. The lower house of Parliament is scheduled to hold a special session on Sunday to discuss the health, economic and social consequences of the pandemic, upon a request by 26 MPs.
Leading medical journal The Lancet on Tuesday said Sputnik V is “91.6% effective against symptomatic COVID-19.” The results suggest that it is among the top performing vaccines.
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