400,000 people received booster shot, says official

A health worker administering a COVID-19 vaccine in Amman. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Around 400,000 people have received the booster shot of COVID-19 vaccine so far, according to Adel Balbisi, health adviser at the prime minister's office and the official in charge of the COVID-19 crisis.اضافة اعلان

In a statement Tuesday, Balbisi stressed the need to receive the third dose three months after the second shot, noting that it enhances immunity against the virus and its variants by 80 percent.

About 40 percent of the Kingdom's population over the age of 18 was given the vaccine, 70 percent of whom got the first jab, and 65 percent the second, he said.

Balbisi predicted an increase in the number of coronavirus infections over the next two weeks, as the fourth wave of pandemic continues with the spread of the Delta and Omicron variants, adding that the peak of this wave will be reached during the first week of February.

He assured that coronavirus patients hospital admission and occupancy rate are "comforting", having reaching about 30 percent, and that the rate of death from the virus has significantly dropped as the national immunization campaign continues.

On easing COVID-19 restrictions, Balbisi said that the government will introduce new measures after the end of the fourth wave.

Moreover, he pointed out that during the vaccination campaign targeting students from the 7th to the 12th grade the first shot was administered to 2,900 students out of the 972,440 students who had registered to get the vaccine. He urged parents to consent to having their children vaccinated, as this will help them return to in-person education.

Balbisi said that the ministry had decided to immunize children aged 5 to 11, but it has not yet started this campaign due to the need for special procedures and arrangements.

"There are no compelling reasons for a lockdown," assured Balbisi, stressing that the Kingdom's health sector is going strong. He also pointed out that each country makes its own decisions regarding easing or lifting restrictions, based on its epidemiological situation and vaccination rates.

He reiterated the need for anyone above the age of 11 to get vaccinated, calling on the public to adhere to safety procedures and precautionary measures, including wearing a facemask, and maintaining physical distancing.

"Talk of the end of the pandemic following the spread of the Omicron variant is misinformed," Balbisi stressed, indicating that a virus that spreads quickly is unpredictable, especially as the vaccination rate is still below par.

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