Zaatari camp inaugurates world's first COVID-19 vaccine clinic for refugees


Published: 2021-02-15 20:06

Last Updated: 2024-04-14 16:10

Editor: Priyanka Navani

Source: RefugeesInternational
Source: RefugeesInternational

Monday, Zaatari Refugee Camp inaugurated its vaccine clinic, the world's first COVID-19 vaccination center for refugees. 

The clinic, which was opened in partnership with the Jordanian Ministry of Health and UNHCR, hopes to vaccinate 50 refugees per day, in line with all safety and health protocols set by the Ministry of Health. 

While the Jordanian vaccine campaign has included refugees since its inception, refugees at Zaatari camp were previously bussed to neighboring Mafraq to recieve their vaccines. Officials hope having the clinic on the grounds will make for a more seamless process. 

Mohammed El Taher, the UNHCR's External Relations Officer for Zaatari, said that the opening of the clinic is an important step, and one that represents the commitment of Jordan to ensuring the health and safety of its refugees. 

All refugees registered with the UNHCR in Jordan are eligible for the vaccine. 

El Taher further explained that beyond vaccinations, health protocols within the camp remain strict, with random PCR testing conducted weekly for all variants of the coronavirus. 

It seems to be working: according to El Taher, the PCR positivity rate in Zaatari remains lower than that of the rest of the Kingdom. 

While Jordan is the first country in the world to formally include refugees in its vaccine campaign, Lebanon will soon follow suit, announcing Sunday that it will include its two million Palestinian and Syrian refugees in its campaign. 

Zaatari Refugee Camp is the largest refugee camp in the Middle East, housing nearly 80,000 refugees, namely from neighboring Syria. 

Refugees comprise about 10 percent of the Jordanian population.