Jordan offers fifth of adults Covid booster jab

Jordanians fully vaccinated for six months are now eligible for top-up shots

Jordanian health authorities said on Sunday that all adults who have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus for six months are now eligible for a booster shot.

Previously only people above 65 years or those with specific diseases were entitled to a third shot.

“The [new] target group is 18 years and above,” Adel Al Belbeisi, the Health Ministry’s top infectious diseases official, told state television.

The announcement came as the authorities recorded 23 more deaths from coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing its official death toll 11,238.

At least 892,000 people have had the virus in Jordan, including the 2,400 who were reported as Covid-positive on Sunday.

Jordanian authorities lifted most coronavirus restrictions in July, saying it needed to revive an economy that is in recession. Jordan’s population exceeds 10 million.

Official data shows that 3.6 million people in Jordan have had two vaccine doses and that almost one-fifth of them took the second dose more than six months ago.

Ahmad Radi, a farmer who lives north of Amman said he was eligible for a third shot because he is diabetic, and took the shot last month.

With the new regulations he says his five adult brothers and sisters are planning to take the booster.

In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, Jordan quarantined incoming travellers to contain the spread. Hundreds were taken to resorts on the Dead Sea and hotels in the capital Amman on buses from Queen Alia International Airport. The country ordered lockdowns but they were mostly ignored or lifted by the start of 2021.

Jordan's economy is officially forecast to grow 2 per cent this year, compared with the 2 per cent contraction in 2020.

The International Monetary Fund says as the gradual return of tourists, Covid-19 vaccinations and rising global would help the Jordanian economy recover.

Jordan offers vaccinations to the hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in the country, including 120,000 residents of the three main camps for Syrian refugees – Zaatari, Azraq and the Emirati-Jordanian camp.

Covid-19 shots were also made available in July for children 12 and older.

Updated: November 15th 2021, 12:18 PM