The start of the national vaccination programme in Jordan has been a sigh of relief for many. Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. The start of the programme came at a time when the percentage of positive daily cases was at a comfortable low, and when there was gradual reopening of closed sectors. A sense of near normalcy was within our reach.
At this time, however, we are at dangerously high levels of daily COVID-19 cases. This could be attributed to the gradual re-opening, irresponsible public behaviour at times, the introduction of somewhat more contagious variants, such as the UK variant, and a relatively slow start to the vaccination programme due to worldwide vaccine shortage. If the current trend continues, the healthcare system might be on the verge of collapse.
The placement of new restrictions has come to the dismay of many; however, some might argue that this is a necessary step to control the case curve and to prevent an inevitable healthcare system collapse.
Hats off to all the frontline workers & the effortless coordination in the fight against #COVID19 Had my 1st jab of #AstraZeneca #vaccination in #amman #Jordan #OxfordAstraZeneca #CoronaVaccine #WorldHealthOrganization #CovidVaccine @WHO @WHOJordan @mohgovjo #COVAX pic.twitter.com/8NUbnVF4fo— ayman bino (@aymanbino) March 21, 2021
Realistically speaking, there is only one way out of the pandemic, especially as far as our society is concerned: Mass global vaccination. The production of vaccines at this time lags behind the demand. With the frequent emergence of novel coronavirus variants, we are now at a race against time. The faster that everyone can get vaccinated, the sooner the pandemic might be coming to an end.
Vaccines are safe, effective, and lifesaving. My country, Jordan, is an important model in regulating and speeding up the vaccination process.— هند خليفات (@hindkhlaifat) March 21, 2021
Pride and appreciation goes to our armed forces of Jordan & Jordanian Royal Medical Services #jo #astrazeneca #COVAX #jrms pic.twitter.com/MC5U9R8Fyd
Although the national vaccination programme had a slow start, the pace is now gradually picking up, as the government is diligently securing more doses. The private sector has also been given the green light in pursuing and obtaining vaccines, which is something that will only serve to speed up the process.
What is needed now is a higher public response towards vaccination. Registration for vaccination on the national platform has been lower than what would be ideally needed; this could hinder any hope of returning to normalcy or near normalcy anytime soon.
Jordan 'shows exemplary solidarity' by becoming first country to include refugees in COVID-19 vaccination rollout https://t.co/RuDDzLmx41— The New Arab (@The_NewArab) March 24, 2021
The available vaccines have been shown to be safe and effective and millions of doses have been administered worldwide. The hard work of scientists who worked on developing these vaccines worldwide should not be undermined by some of the misinformation that might be out there, especially on social media platforms. Individuals should always seek to obtain health information from credible medical and official sources.
Did you know that we're now supporting #COVID19 vaccinations in Azraq Camp, Jordan? Together with the Ministry of Health and @Refugees, we're overseeing the vaccination process from start to finish 💪😷🙌💙🇯🇴💉.#VaccinesWork #WithRefugees pic.twitter.com/sKRbTO3zbL— International Medical Corps UK (@IMC_UK) March 28, 2021
The government has recently announced that it is considering plans to give fully vaccinated individuals permits to roam past curfew hours. I believe that this is a step in the right direction. Once vaccines are readily available to all individuals in Jordan, the government might take this a step further and fully reopen certain sectors and services to fully vaccinated individuals, such as cinemas, public parks, gyms, wedding venues, etc…
Responsible behaviour is required from everyone now more than ever. We are at a crossroads; responsible preventive behaviour and vaccinations are the only way out. Registering to get vaccinated now is not merely a personal choice, it is a public duty.
Yacoub Majdoubeh is a general practitioner working in the NGO health sector. Copyright: Project Syndicate, 2021.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
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