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Jordan begins vaccine drive, hopes to inoculate 20% of population by year’s end

Jordan has begun administering coronavirus vaccines with the goal of inoculating 10,000 people in the first two days.

Wael Hayajneh, the Health Ministry official in charge of combating the virus, says that the first doses will go to medical personnel, the elderly and those with chronic diseases. The country hopes to vaccinate 20% of its population of 10.5 million by the end of the year.

Jordan received a first batch of China’s Sinopharm vaccine on Saturday and a first batch of Pfizer’s vaccine on Monday. Prime Minister Bishr al-Khasawneh and other officials received shots, in part to encourage others to get vaccinated.

More than 150,000 Jordanians have registered to receive a vaccine, while others are hesitant because of safety concerns. The government has set up 29 vaccination centers across the country and eased a nationwide curfew.

Jordan has reported more than 309,000 confirmed cases and 4,076 virus-related deaths.

The coronavirus crisis has taken a heavy toll on the economy in Jordan, a Western-allied monarchy that is home to hundreds of thousands of refugees.

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