Conflicting views on vaccines: MoH responds

(File photo: Jordan News)
AMMAN — Deputy Farid Haddad, and a member of the parliamentary health committee, stressed that the Ministry of Health lacks the authority to vaccinate school students and children under 18 without parental consent. Instead, relevant authorities must take appropriate measures if parents refuse vaccination.اضافة اعلان

He pointed out that the current epidemiological situation in the Kingdom, along with reported cases of measles and viral hepatitis, does not justify a national vaccination campaign due to relatively low numbers compared to the population, Jo24 reported. 

The vaccination campaign's primary focus is on 1.5 million students in government schools, and the Ministry of Education cannot administer vaccines without parental consent. Haddad emphasized that the law grants relevant authorities and the government the right to take necessary measures to combat pandemics and epidemics for individuals aged 18 and above but not for those under 18.

Haddad also raised questions about the source and safety of the "MR" vaccine, the studies conducted in Jordan to verify its components, its approval by the General Authority for Food and Drug Administration, and its short and long-term safety. Additionally, he mentioned the Ministry of Health's plan to introduce a new vaccine for German measles, noting that parents are accustomed to the triple vaccine "MMR," administered at specific ages following international protocols.

Meanwhile, Dr. Raed Anwar Al-Shboul, the Secretary-General of the Ministry of Health for Primary Healthcare and Epidemics, assured the public that all vaccines administered as part of the national vaccination campaign are safe, effective, and provided free of charge, protecting against 12 diseases.

He emphasized that these vaccines are registered, guaranteed, and widely used in many countries, including Europe and Gulf nations. He highlighted the significant role vaccines have played in eliminating various diseases in Jordan, such as bacterial infections, polio, and tetanus, Al Rai reported. 

Regarding the "MR" vaccine, Shboul confirmed its inclusion in national vaccination campaigns, while the "MMR" vaccine is part of the national program. He noted the presence of international experts advising the ministry on vaccine safety.

Al-Shbool mentioned that the "MR" vaccine had been used in previous vaccination campaigns in Jordan, the most recent one being in 2013, where 4 million people were vaccinated due to 120 reported cases.

He clarified that some concerns expressed by citizens about vaccines might stem from the COVID-19 vaccine, which was approved urgently due to the pandemic. However, it has been three years since the initial COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

He stressed the importance of administering vaccines within the national campaign to individuals aged two to 18, emphasizing that citizens' health is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health. Guardians who prevent their children from receiving vaccines bear moral responsibility.

He also criticized the counter-campaign against the national vaccination effort, particularly aimed at protecting school students. He refuted the false information circulating in messages and voice recordings from some parents and highlighted the ministry's reliance on citizen awareness regarding the importance of their own and their children's health.

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