Jordan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive as physician, 87, gets first jab

Jordan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive as physician, 87, gets first jab
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Dawood Hananiah, receives the first COVID-19 vaccine in Jordan, at a medical center in Amman. (Reuters)
An elderly man receives a vaccination against COVID-19 in Salt, Jordan. (Raed Omari)
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An elderly man receives a vaccination against COVID-19 in Salt, Jordan. (Raed Omari)
Pic 3: Patients are vaccinated against COVID-19 in Salt, Jordan on the first day of the kingdom’s inoculation campaign. (Raed Omari)
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Pic 3: Patients are vaccinated against COVID-19 in Salt, Jordan on the first day of the kingdom’s inoculation campaign. (Raed Omari)
Jordan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive as physician, 87, gets first jab
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The first injections were given at hospitals and other health care facilities, after the authorities designated 29 vaccination centers across Jordan. (AP)
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Updated 13 January 2021

Jordan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive as physician, 87, gets first jab

Jordan begins COVID-19 vaccination drive as physician, 87, gets first jab
  • Dawood Hanania urges Jordanians to follow suit to help country bring virus cases under control
  • Around 68,000 people will receive vaccine in campaign’s first phase

AMMAN: An 87-year-old former army physician on Wednesday received the first shot in Jordan’s coronavirus disease (COVID-19) vaccination program.

Retired Lt. Gen. Dawood Hanania was given his jab at 8 a.m. at a vaccination center in the Jubaihah neighborhood of the capital Amman, signaling the start of a mass immunization effort to curb the spread of the virus that has killed more than 4,000 people in Jordan.

Hanania, a former Royal Medical Services director, told national news agency Petra: “Jordanians are now en route out of the pandemic.” He said that after consulting with international research centers and had been “strongly” advised to take the vaccine.

In preparation for the rollout of its vaccination program, Jordan launched an online platform for people to register for jabs.

Brig. Gen. Mazen Faraiah, head of the department responsible for COVID-19-related issues at the National Center for Security and Crisis Management, said 68,000 people would receive the vaccine in the campaign’s first phase, adding that 201,144 had already registered for the jab.

Health officials are aiming to inoculate about 2 million of Jordan’s 10 million population through the nationwide vaccination drive.

“The campaign is progressing steadily and smoothly,” said Health Minister Nathir Obeidat, adding that around 5,000 people every day would receive shots at the country’s 29 vaccination centers. Previously the minister said that the elderly, doctors, and nurses would be first in line for the vaccine.

Obeidat recently pointed out that Jordan’s Prime Minister Bisher Al-Khasawneh and several other members of the government had received the China-UAE Sinopharm vaccine during its testing phase.

“The vaccines that have been bought for the vaccination campaign in the Kingdom are all safe and effective … I myself took the vaccine,” he said, urging more Jordanians to come forward.

Jordan received its first shipments of Sinopharm on Saturday and the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine on Monday – the two vaccines so far approved by the Jordan Food and Drug Administration for emergency use.

Obeidat said that the amounts of contracted COVID-19 vaccines would be enough to treat 20 percent of the country’s population, and that there was no ceiling for ordering more if the demand was there. In December, he noted that the vaccine would be given free of charge to foreign residents as well as Jordanians.

Abu Ahmad, who is in his 70s and received the COVID-19 vaccine at a center in Salt city, about 15 km west of Amman, told Arab News: “I feel safer now after taking the shot. I want to live the remaining years of my life with no fear of the corona.”

Jordan has to date recorded 309,846 COVID-19 cases and 4,076 virus-related deaths.


Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
This picture shows the Dome of the Rock at the al-Aqsa mosque compound in the Jerusalem's Old City on July 27, 2018, after the site was reopened. (AFP)
Updated 25 January 2021

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs

Israeli police prevent Dome of the Rock repairs
  • Council set to denounce action that is ‘violation of understandings’

AMMAN: Israeli police have stopped workers from the Jerusalem Islamic Waqf from renovating the Dome of the Rock for two consecutive days, raising tensions in the old city.

Azzam Khatib, director of the Jordanian Waqf department in Jerusalem, informed Jordan’s Ambassador in Tel Aviv Ghassan Majali and Minister of Waqf in Amman Mohammed Khalaileh of the news.

Israeli officials claim the decision was made after an individual tried to renovate the ceiling of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque, which Israel has demanded Muslims to vacate, without reason.

The Jerusalem Waqf Council is expected to issue a strong statement denouncing the Israeli action, calling it a violation of understandings.

Bassam Hallaq, the Waqf engineer in charge of the renovation, said that Israeli police stopped work on the gold-plated Dome of the Rock on Saturday and Sunday, and prevented urgent electric work, too.

Israel insists that any renovation or repair must be pre-approved. The renovation is not structural.

Arab News has learned that the Israeli actions on Saturday and Sunday followed the efforts of an unknown Palestinian whose face was covered, who climbed the roof of the Bab Al-Rahmeh mosque in order to apply cement to stop leaks.

Israel has forbidden any repair work on the mosque.

Hallaq said that all repair work in the entire Al-Aqsa compound has also been suspended by Israel.

The mosque’s engineer insists that the Waqf has no cement materials inside the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and that Friday was a holiday when staff did not work.

Sheikh Omar Kisswani, director of Al-Aqsa Mosque, told reporters that repairs to the entire 144 dunum Haram Al-Sharif/Al-Aqsa mosque compound were the right of the Islamic Waqf and that the Israeli police have no right to interfere in their work.

A spokesman for the Israeli police told Arab News that the “subject isn’t under the responsibility of the Israeli police.”