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Gov’t adamant on ensuring transparency in COVID vaccine procedures — media minister

By Rana Husseini - Dec 17,2020 - Last updated at Dec 17,2020

AMMAN — Minister of State for Media Affairs Ali Al Ayed on Thursday stressed that the government plans to adopt “transparent and clear methods” for announcing procedures related to the COVID-19 vaccination.

“We heard several concerns from citizens such as that the vaccine might not be safe or that it includes genetic codes or that the government plans to make money out of it,” Ayed told The Jordan Times.

That is why, Ayed continued, the government is keen on “ensuring the utmost transparency and clarity” when it comes to the vaccine.

There are also some concerns related to the safety and success rates of the COVID-19 vaccine and this is a worldwide debate, Ayed added.

“We will keep our citizens up to date with the transportation and handling process of the vaccine once the international companies ship our share,” the minister stressed.

Ayed added that the government is operating under direct instructions by His Majesty King Abdullah and HRH Crown Prince Hussein in regard to the COVID-19 vaccine.

“We are constantly working on improving the health sector in the Kingdom and have recently employed an additional 3,000 physicians and nurses,” Ayed said.

Earlier this week, Health Minister Nathir Obeidat announced that the Kingdom secured an agreement to receive the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine in February or before to cover 5 per cent of the population. 

Obeidat stressed that all approved vaccines are “safe”. 

Other pharmaceutical companies were contacted to secure additional quantities of the vaccine, including COVAX Coalition, the minister said, adding that none of the vaccines would be used without securing the approval of the Jordan Food and Drugs Administration.

The health minister also noted that the Kingdom will contact the United Arab Emirates to procure the China-UAE vaccine, when licensed, for urgent use.

A plan was devised to ensure “the fair distribution of vaccines” to 20 per cent of the population in 11 stages, Secretary General of the Health Ministry for epidemiological affairs and the official in charge of the COVID-19 crisis Wael Hayajneh said, highlighting that priority would be given to elderly above 60, frontline health workers, people suffering from chronic conditions, security forces and decision makers.

An online platform will be launched for medical personnel and the elderly to register for receiving the vaccine, which can be accessed through providing the name, national identification number, and address.

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