Jordan’s second COVAX shipment arrives

146,400 vaccine shots small step towards reaching herd immunity in Jordan

(Graphic: JNews)
AMMAN — Late on Sunday night, the second shipment of vaccines from COVAX arrived in Jordan. The shipment of 146,400 vaccines could provide inoculation for 73,200 people living in the Kingdom — less than 1 percent of the Jordanian population. اضافة اعلان

The shipment was supported by the World Health Organization (WHO), the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI), Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), and UNICEF, with funding from the European Union. 

Dina Alkaweel, who works in media relations at the EU in Jordan, told Jordan News that the EU provides funding for Jordan to buy vaccines through the Madad Fund. 

The new shipment represents a small step towards reaching herd immunity in Jordan, which will require vaccinating 70 to 80 percent of the total population. 

According to WHO, the government of Jordan has an agreement with COVAX to receive 2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021. It is “not clear yet” when the next shipments will arrive, said a WHO representative in an interview with Jordan News. 

Since the AstraZeneca vaccine requires two doses, this means that 1 million people, or 9.7% of the Jordanian population, could be vaccinated through COVAX shipments to Jordan this year. 

In a previous Jordan News interview, former Jordanian Minister of Health and current adviser for government affairs for the Middle East and North Africa for Hikma Pharmaceuticals, Salah Mawajdeh, called the distributions facilitated by COVAX “like a drop in a bucket”, compared to the global demand for vaccines.

COVAX aims to provide equitable access to 2 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine by the end of 2021, coordinating international resources to provide low- and middle-income countries with vaccine supplies they may not otherwise be able to afford. 

Currently, 190 countries are participating in the initiative, whether as recipients or donors. UNICEF leads local procurement for the initiative in Jordan, explained a UNICEF spokesperson in an interview with Jordan News, due to its strong background in obtaining vaccines as part of its work for vulnerable children around the world. 

Jordan is a “self-financing country through COVAX,” according to an interview with WHO, which means that it must pay for the vaccines it receives. But the EU has provided financial support for the first two shipments of vaccines. 

A total of 8 million euro has been made available by the EU to support the Ministry of Health’s purchase of COVID-19 vaccines from COVAX, through its Jordan Health Programme for Syrian Refugees and Vulnerable Jordanians, implemented by the WHO and funded by the Madad Fund, according to the EU.

The first shipment of COVAX jabs, which arrived early in March, consisted of 144,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. 

In the past weeks, Jordan’s vaccination campaign has continued to pick up speed. On April 14, Petra, the Jordan News Agency, reported that 665,226 vaccines have been administered, with 543,095 people receiving at least their first dose and 122,131 receiving both doses of the vaccine. 

Read more National.