Refugee vaccinations against COVID-19 increase in Jordan
Over half of refugees aged 18 and above living in Jordan have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, when looking at vaccination rates among refugees living in Za’atari and Azraq Camps, 90 percent of adult refugees have received one or more doses of the vaccine.
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Data provided by the National Centre for Security and Crisis Management (NCSCM) and collated by UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, reveals that over half of refugees aged 18 and above living in Jordan have been vaccinated against COVID-19. In addition, when looking at vaccination rates among refugees living in Za’atari and Azraq Camps, 90 percent of adult refugees have received one or more doses of the vaccine. It has been one month since the implementation of Defense Order 35, which requires proof of vaccination against COVID 19 to access public premises and other facilities across Jordan.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, UNHCR Jordan has been working closely with the Ministry of Health (MoH) and NCSCM. As of November 2021, vaccination centers have been in operation at UNHCR Registration centres in Amman, Mafraq and Irbid. Over the last three months, approximately 10,000 refugees have been inoculated at these centres.
In January, UNHCR also started operating mobile vaccination centres at community centres located across Jordan in partnership with the NCSCM and, the Jordanian Hashemite Fund for Human Development (JOHUD) Refugees and Jordanians alike can approach these centres to take their COVID-19 vaccine without any prior appointment. UNHCR Jordan remains grateful to the Government of Jordan for including refugees in the national response since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Additionally, since December, UNHCR has been providing refugees with a small compensation package to cover refugee transportation to the closest vaccination centre. So far, 130,000 refugees have withdrawn their compensation.
“Over the last few months, we have seen significant progress in facilitating refugee vaccinations in Jordan,” said UNHCR Jordan Representative, Dominik Bartsch. “Amid the current spike of COVID cases in Jordan, it is reassuring that refugee communities remain committed to getting vaccinated.”
In this respect, a network of refugee volunteers has been supporting the fight against misinformation on the COVID-19 vaccine and encouraging those who have hesitations to get vaccinated. Doctors and nurses are also on hand at the vaccination centers to provide medical advice as needed. Current campaigns are focused on boosting vaccination rates among adolescents, women, and the elderly.
“The presence of vaccination centres in our communities has had a positive impact on the number of refugees getting vaccinated. It makes it much easier for refugees, like me, to get vaccinated close to home in a safe and welcoming environment,” said Hajj, a Sudanese refugee community volunteer working at the Nuzha Community Centre in East Amman.