Parents express mixed opinions on the schools vaccination campaign

A healthcare worker adminestiring COVID-19 vaccine in Amman. (File photo: Ameer Khalifeh/Jordan News)
AMMAN — The Ministry of Education resumed on Sunday its COVID-19 vaccination campaign for school students in grades 7–12 in cooperation with the Ministry of Health and the National Center for Security and Crisis Management. اضافة اعلان

The campaign began in the first semester of the 2021–2022 academic year after approval from the National Epidemiology Committee and the Ministry of Health, following extensive studies of the impact of the vaccine on children under 18 years. Although not mandatory, students were encouraged to get fully vaccinated as a measure that reduces infection rates among young people.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Education Nabil Hanaqtah told Jordan News that the campaign was briefly paused due to the exams in most schools as well as the winter break. The campaign is carried out in close collaboration between the education and health ministries and covers all public and private schools. “While we do not have a specific target percentage that we want to reach, we are definitely of the belief that the more students choose to get vaccinated, the better we can control this pandemic and its impact.”

In an earlier statement, Najwa Qbeilat, the Education Ministry’s undersecretary for Administrative and Financial Affairs, said that the campaign aims to vaccinate 972,400 students across the country. So far, 72,445 students (17 percent of the campaign’s designated group) have received the first dose, and 24,422 students the two shots (12.7 percent of the campaign’s targeted group).

Malak Shweikh, a Jordanian mother of four, who has one child in the seventh grade, and another in the 10th grade, told Jordan News that she is not in favor of vaccinating children under 18 years, and has decided not to vaccinate her two children. “I am hopeful that they will gain immunity against the virus, should they ever get infected. I think their bodies will be able to handle this.”  Shweikh believes that observing the health protocol is sufficient enough to reduce the spread of the virus.

Asila Al-Jaafari, a Jordanian mother of five, said that her son who is in 11th grade, has voluntarily opted to get vaccinated and that she let him decide for himself. She said that even though the campaign is not mandatory, “my son and I have realized that not getting vaccinated will create certain obstacles, like not being able to enter certain public places.” She said that they both felt that the incentives outweigh the disadvantages, and this is why her son decided to get vaccinated.

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