Coronavirus: Jordan’s King Abdullah recounts his vaccine experience

The monarch says he was a bit tired and had some trouble sleeping but vaccination was worth it

A handout picture released by the Jordanian Royal Palace on November 17, 2020 shows Jordanian King Abdullah II, who is the Supreme Commander of the armed forces, putting on a mask as a protective measure against the coronavirus pandemic, while addressing policemen at the Public Security Directorate in Amman.

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 / AFP / Jordanian Royal Palace / Yousef ALLAN / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE - MANDATORY CREDIT "AFP PHOTO / JORDANIAN ROYAL PALACE / YOUSEF ALLAN" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
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Jordan’s King Abdullah II felt a little discomfort after taking the coronavirus vaccine but he said it was “a small price to pay compared with actually catching the virus.”

The king and his subordinates urged Jordanians to take a vaccination as registrations for the campaign lag behind the government's plan to inoculate one-fifth of Jordan's 10 million population.

King Abdullah told the official news agency in an interview on his 59th birthday on Saturday that he was filmed while taking the vaccine two weeks ago to send a message that it is safe.

The king took the vaccine with his son, 26-year old Crown Prince Hussein, and his uncle, Prince Hassan, who is 73.

“I made it a point to take the vaccine in front of cameras so that everyone realises that it is a safe and easy process,” the king said.

“I experienced some mild side effects, and I felt tired and had trouble sleeping for a couple of days after receiving the shot, but that is a small price to pay compared with actually catching the virus,” he said.

About 300,000 Jordanians have registered online to take the vaccine.

Inoculations in Jordan started on January 13 using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine and China’s Sinopharm.

The king did not say which vaccine he took.

Public health specialists said that at least 20 per cent of the population has been infected since the pandemic began, although official data shows 325,000 infections and 4,304 deaths. Health officials said the rate of increase in cases has been declining since December.

But Health Minister Nizar Obeidat said last week that at least 160 cases of the more contagious coronavirus variant first reported in Britain were recorded in Jordan.

Infection and death rates rose sharply after authorities eased coronavirus restrictions in the summer of last year, prompting the reimposition of a curfew in November while most businesses were allowed to remain open.

The king told the government this month to lift most pandemic-control measures, saying that the public health situation has improved.

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