Vaccination momentum boosts hopes for a ‘safe summer’

Experts commended ongoing efforts to immunize Jordanians against COVID-19 as the Cabinet is eyeing a “safe summer”. (Photo: Shutterstock)
AMMAN — Experts commended ongoing efforts to immunize Jordanians against COVID-19 as the Cabinet is eyeing a “safe summer”.اضافة اعلان

Jordan is still implementing measures to bring the pandemic under control, and members of the Eastern Mediterranean Public Health Network (EMPHNET) have reassured the public that the situation is “under control”.

Mohannad Al-Nsour, executive director of the EMPHNET and member of the National Epidemiological Committee, told Jordan News, that “the positivity rate is under control within the permissible norm, and the incidence of hospital admission is also reassuring; in fact, all of the indicators in the epidemiological status are encouraging.”

Although it is “difficult to dwell on mere expectations,” Nsour feels that citizens’ commitment to getting vaccinated is the only way to ensure a safe summer. “Over a million citizens have been vaccinated thus far thanks to the availability of vaccines and the support of the studied plans from (the National Center for Security and Crises Management). This has helped motivate citizens to take the vaccinations. It is critical that businesses and workplaces encourage vaccines so that people are protected and ready to restore the country to its former glory,” he added.

According to Nsour, businesses and a number of tourist destinations are linking vaccines to work stimulus and obligatory procedures to return to work. This has had a significant impact on encouraging people to get vaccinated. Although “60,000 to 70,000 individuals” are vaccinated every day, the goal is to reach “100,000” vaccinations per day, and eventually “2.5 to 3 million” vaccinated individuals by the end of June.

“In our battle against this pandemic, every citizen in our country is a strategic soldier. This means that unless citizens commit to social distancing, precautionary measures, and vaccinations, none of these expectations will be realized,” he stated.

Although he previously stated that a third wave may be on its way to Jordan, Nsour now believes that if we continue to take the cautious steps we currently are, the wave will not be as harsh as the first two waves.

Former member of the epidemiological committee Saad Kharabsheh told Jordan News, “We hope that (the) vaccination process continues to work well, and although the percentage right now stands at around 10 percent. We need to reach 30–40 percent while also keeping in mind that the first two waves may have increased the immunity of those infected, but the announced cases range between 75,000 and 100,000, and I believe that the total number of cases may actually be a few times more than that. We can only hope that if a third wave hits, we will have a good percentage of social immunity based on the numbers of those infected and those vaccinated.”

Ensuring the vaccination of people working in sectors that are intending to open is “critical”, he said, adding that the process must be accelerated over the coming two months.

“We estimate that by late July or August, society’s immunity will be reasonable, which will mitigate the third wave if it occurs. In all cases, individuals must not to neglect preventative measures,” Kharbasheh added.

Mohammad Azoqa, a member of the Private Hospital Association, also believes that vaccinations are a key factor in helping the country reach a “safe summer”. “The joint efforts of the ministry and the Crisis Management Cell are reflecting on the country. Private hospitals have reported an increase in the amount of vaccinations, which is an important aspect in ensuring a safe summer,” he said.

These measures have helped to aid the recovery of the tourism sector in Jordan. In media statements, Head of the Jordanian Hotel Association Abdul Hakim Al-Hindi announced that the Dead Sea area will be designated a safe tourist destination next Thursday, following the success of the coronavirus vaccination campaign. According to his statement “all workers and tourism service providers in the Dead Sea region will receive two doses of the coronavirus vaccination next Wednesday.” Furthermore, employees who have not been vaccinated will not be allowed to enter hotel facilities at the Dead Sea, the statement said.

Ismail Matalka, professor of pathology at King Abdullah University Hospital and Jordan University of Science and Technology, told Jordan News that he believes “we are nearing a safe shore from the pandemic, as cases are decreasing and the situation is currently being managed to the best of our ability. If we make it through this week, it will be a positive indication that things are under control. The vaccine program is also going well, with nearly 2.5 million people registering on the website despite previous citizen resistance. Within a month, we will be able to meet a significant number of vaccinated people, boosting society immunity by around 50 percent. This is no reason, however, for people to ignore precautionary measures in any way. We must all take care of ourselves and our country if things are to go smoothly.”

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