COVID-19 vaccines ‘will not be mandatory’ — Health Ministry

Health worker preparing vaccines
(Photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Vaccination against the COVID-19 virus “will not be mandatory,” Health Ministry Secretary General for epidemics and communicable diseases Adel Balbisi said on Thursday.اضافة اعلان

In an interview on Al-Mamlaka, the health official that “no one, not even physicians, will be forced to take the vaccine,” noting that healthcare workers and teachers are on top of the priority list for inoculation.

He noted however, that the Ministry of Education is selecting some 6,000 teachers and test monitors to evaluate and supervise the General Secondary Education Certificate Examination (Tawjihi), who would have to be vaccinated.

“All teachers will turnout for vaccinations because they do not know whom the government will select …. The ministry will also go to schools and administer shots there,” Balbisi said.

On Wednesday, The National Center for Security and Crisis Management issued a list of proposed measures to stimulate public and private sector workers to register for the COVID-19 vaccine.

Should they go into effect, the new measures would ban those who have not received the vaccine from entering public facilities, shopping malls and most service sector institutions, whereas those who have been immunized would have access to all public facilities, parks movie theatres and  sports matches.

The measures would also require both public and private sector employees to test for coronavirus every Saturday, at their own expense, as of June 1.

Private sector institutions that have not vaccinated their employees, with “at least” the first COVID jab, would have to close their doors, starting August 1, while those that have vaccinated less than 80 percent of their employees would be restricted to operating with 50 percent of their staff, as of June 1.

Balbisi expected that the number of vaccinated people will reach 3 million at least by July 1, noting that May alone will see the inoculation of some 1 million people.

The health official added that once Jordan reaches 4 million vaccinated people, there will be no fear of a next wave, noting however that other strains of the virus “can change the entire scene.”

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