Jordan to vaccinate children amid Covid-19 surge

The EU and US have already approved the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for children as young as 12

Jordan's health ministry has said that Covid-19 shots will be available for children 12 and older, amid a surge in cases in the kingdom.

The vaccinations will not be mandatory and will require the permission of a parent or guardian.

The ministry "has decided to lower the Covid-19 vaccination age to 12 years, starting from Sunday July 25" and without requiring an appointment, it said in a statement on its Facebook page on Saturday.

"Vaccination will be optional, and those under 18 will be able to receive the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine with the consent of their guardian," it said.

Jordan, a country of 10 million people, has officially recorded more than 763,900 coronavirus cases, including more than 9,900 deaths, since the start of its outbreak.

About 190,000 people have been fully inoculated against Covid-19, while 2.7 million have received an initial vaccine dose.

The US, Canada and the EU have already authorised the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for 12-year-old children.

Amman said last month that it had concluded several agreements to obtain about 12 million Covid-19 vaccine doses, and planned to order 5 million additional shots.

The country last weekend received half a million Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine doses from Washington.

Authorities are pushing the population to take up the vaccines, and have adopted measures against those who fail to do so.

These include requiring unvaccinated or partially vaccinated public sector employees to present a negative Covid-19 test twice a week, and prohibiting the issuance or renewal of work and residency permits for those who are not fully vaccinated.

Updated: July 25th 2021, 2:02 PM