Vaccination campaign for people with disabilities kicks off

The first day of vaccinations for persons with disabilities at Beit Al Shabab, on March 31. (Photo: Amjad Taweel/JNews)
AMMAN — Jordan on Wednesday launched its first COVID-19 vaccination campaign targeting persons with disabilities.

The campaign took place in “14 medical centers and in Beit Al Shabab in Sports City”. Persons with disabilities lined up in the centers along with their families.اضافة اعلان

However, Secretary General of the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Mohannad Al Ezza described the turnout later in the day, during an interview with Al-Mamlaka TV, as “weak and disappointing” citing the fact that only 730 people showed up, the majority of whom in Amman.

The campaign was organized the Crisis Management Center and the Ministry of Health.

Priority was given to those who had already registered on a designated vaccination platform. The person with disabilities needs to present a medical report from a hospital or the Ministry of Health that states the type of his disability along with the severity of his condition, in order for him to take the vaccine, and must also be 18 and above.

The effort will be followed by other campaigns that “take place once a week, for persons with visual impairment, persons with paralysis of all kinds, persons with mental illnesses, and persons with hearing impairment.”

The director of monitoring and coordination at the Higher Council for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Abdullah Al Jaloudi, said: “We expect that the medical centers are well prepared for vaccinating persons with disabilities all around the country, but it is crucial that they register their names on the platform.

“As for those who face difficulties in registering on the platform, we have provided a number that helps them through with the process.”

Head of Lower House Legal Committee Ahmad Sarahnah joined the voices that criticized the “delay in launching the campaign”.

“This is a dereliction of duty on the government’s and the Vaccination Committee’s part,” he told Jordan News. These persons are from the groups that should have had the priority from the beginning. It is their right as much as it is every other citizen’s right.”

Jalloudi responded: “These campaigns need time to put in place; they cannot be executed in an overnight.”

Volunteers from We are All Jordan Youth Commission were also in the scene to offer all kinds of assistance to the persons with disabilities, and to the medical staff as well.

“We have been here helping out since 7am. We’ve helped a number of people so far, most of their ages range from 16 to 25. Our purpose is to help make this process as smooth as possible for these people,” a volunteer, Mohammad Saleh, said.

The campaign was highly anticipated for months by these persons and their families.  Om Ahmad Al-Rashdan, who registered on the platform a month ago for her son, Ibrahim said:  “We learned about the news just yesterday. My son has Down syndrome but he has a job and is engaged, which is why we couldn’t wait to get my son vaccinated so he could go on with his everyday life.”

Motasm Shteat, a psychologist at Atlas Autism Center said, “We were finally able to vaccinate nine students who are above 18 today. This way we can guarantee their safety and protection. We’ve been constantly receiving calls from concerned parents who kept asking when their children would be vaccinated. It’s great to finally put their minds at ease.”