The UN refugee agency UNHCR says Jordan has opened a coronavirus vaccination center in the Zaatari camp for Syrian refugees. The facility is supposedly the first of its kind.
"It's the first vaccination center in the world to open in a refugee camp," Mohammed Hawari, spokesperson for the UN refugee agency UNHCR, told news agency AFP on Monday (February 15).
According to AFP, some 2,000 of the 80,000 inhabitants of the Zaatari camp on the border with Syria had signed up to receive the vaccination.
UNHCR spokesperson Hawari said that 1,200 refugees met the necessary criteria to be vaccinated preferentially. In Jordan, people older than 65, those with pre-existing conditions as well as health workers are vaccinated first.
Jordan, a country of some 10 million people, hosts more than 650,000 Syrian refugees registered with the United Nations.
In mid-January, Jordan had launched a comprehensive, free-of-charge COVID-19 vaccination program for refugees and asylum seekers as one of the first countries in the world.
According to Jordanian health authorities, some 50,000 people have been vaccinated so far. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic around a year ago, there have been nearly 350,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and nearly 4,500 corona-related deaths.