Teachers vaccination drive off to a bumpy start

Teachers express support for vaccination despite chaotic event

Teachers queue outside King Abdullah School of Excellence, in Al Quwaisma, Amman as they wait to get their vaccines, on May 4, 2021. (Photo: Sara Rababah/Jordan News)
Teachers queue outside King Abdullah School of Excellence, in Al Quwaisma, Amman as they wait to get their vaccines, on May 4, 2021. (Photo: Sara Rababah/Jordan News)
AMMAN — Over a thousand teachers and their significant others received the COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday in Amman, as part of a national campaign dedicated to inoculating teachers to guarantee a safe return of classroom education this September, but despite promises of social distancing at vaccination sites, attendees hoping to get their first jab encountered crowds and disorder.اضافة اعلان

Teachers flocked to the four vaccination centers previously designated by the Ministry of Health; they had received strict appointments based on an order set by the ministry, however, once they arrived, they found that the vaccination schedule did not run exactly to plan. 

“We arrived to King Abdullah School of Excellence at 8am, which is the time set for us by the Ministry, to find out that the vaccination team hadn’t arrived yet!” Asma Idkeedek, a public school teacher, said in remarks to Jordan News.

“People started flooding, and the vaccination team arrived at around 9:30am with only 400 vaccines, although there were more than 700 people at the vaccination center,” she said. “It was very crowded and unhealthy.”

“My husband and two of my colleagues decided to leave as they couldn’t bear waiting under the sun any longer. I eventually got vaccinated at around 11:30am, although my appointment was at 8am,” Idkeedek added.

Yousef Ma’ayta, another eye-witness, told Jordan News that “the vaccination team took so long to arrive, and when they arrived there were only two of them responsible for vaccinating all these people!”

“The vaccination team told us that they only have 400 shots, and that there will be another appointment session tomorrow, which is not true.

People started to protest and some of them even left, as no social distancing or public health measures were followed,” Ma’ayta said.

“The Ministry of Health said that they will require six rooms in each vaccination center. The vaccination team consisted of two people only. The rest of the team arrived at around 11am, when half of the people have already lost hope and went home,” he added.

Minister of Education Mohammad Abu Qaddis said in media statements that this campaign was based on the Ministry’s concern for the health and safety of teachers and students.

“Vaccinating teachers is considered a top priority, to help us reach a safe school year for everyone,” he said.  

Abu Qaddis also indicated that there are vaccination plans that will include senior highschool student, and other plans to include everyone.

Despite the disorganization at the vaccination center, all of the teachers interviewed emphasized the importance of taking the vaccine in order to return to classroom education. 

Tamara Abbadi, a teacher at a private school who prefers an alias, said that it is really important for students’ and teachers’ mental wellbeing that they return to the classrooms. “We, as teachers, get bored too! Classroom teaching is a joyful process. I can’t wait to get back to school.”

“Students gain more knowledge and truly benefit from classroom education. We can tell that almost all students cheat on their exams. Therefore, it’s safe to say that the students didn’t benefit from the past two educational years as they should.”

Mamdouh Samara, a teacher at a public university, agreed with Abbadi. “Parents compromised their children’s quality of education for their health, which is quite understandable,” he said. “I believe parents would feel safer sending their children back to school knowing that their teachers are vaccinated.”

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