Defense Order 35: Full vaccination required to be on campus as of 2022

4.الجامعة الاردنية ساهر
An undated photo of university students on campus. (Photo: JNews)
AMMAN — As of the beginning of 2022, students entering any university campus or the premises of a higher education establishment must have two shots of a COVID-19 vaccine, confirmed the Ministry of Higher Education in adherence to Defense Order 35. اضافة اعلان

The latest Ministry of Health data states that 63 percent of citizens aged 18 and above have received the first dose of the vaccine and 57 percent have taken the two shots.

A vast majority of education and health experts have praised the vaccine mandate for national higher education institutions, urging citizens to adhere. Spokesperson for the Ministry of Higher Education Muhannad Khatib told Jordan News that the provisions of Defense Order 35 apply to all public places, including universities, and will be applicable not only on students, but also on faculty members.  

“Teachers and staff will also be held accountable in accordance with these regulations. Non-complying staff might face obstacles like being prevented from proceeding with their educational duties, and even being disallowed from receiving their wages,” said Khatib.

“We must remember that the government is doing this to protect the safety of all students in Jordan. I’m not sure if non-complying students will be expelled or suspended, but they will undoubtedly be barred from attending physical classes, and this could be problematic because missing around 15 percent of lectures for each class will create academic complications,” he warned.

Director of public relations and media at Yarmouk University Mukhles Ibbeni told Jordan News “this is the correct course of action taken by the government,” adding that citizens have a legal obligation to obey the rules announced by any and all defense orders. He also said that non-complying students will not be allowed to campus.

“As long as there is a pandemic, these regulations will most likely stay active, and we will have to remain vigilant for the sake of our own well-being,” he said in response to a question on how long these measures would stay in effect.

Individuals who have certain medical conditions may be exempt from Defense Order 35, “as long as they are able to present a valid medical report, certified by a medical professional, proving their underlying condition,” said Ibbeni, while assuring that there will be zero tolerance for individuals who attempt to avoid the regulations for reasons other than medical.   

Ibbeni was ardent in emphasizing that these measures should not be perceived as “intruding” on the personal freedoms of citizens, but should rather be interpreted as protective measures that are meant to look after the populace.

 “If a person’s idea of freedom of choice involves risking the lives of others, then this is an erroneous interpretation of the concept. In your home you have freedom of choice, but when it comes to the public, collective interests pertaining to safety transcend the interests of any individual,” he commented.

Commenting on a statement by the Ministry of Health Secretary General on Saturday that the COVID-19 vaccine may become a seasonal practice, Ibbeni said “while it is too early to definitively determine if seasonal vaccines will become required in the future to enter a university campus, it’s still a possibility that we cannot completely rule out as of yet”.

He urged citizens to obey Defense Orders and to stay updated on the latest COVID-19 regulations, to secure a safe future for the Kingdom. 

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