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Refugees Included in Lebanon’s COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

Refugees Included in Lebanon’s COVID-19 Vaccination Campaign

Friday, 12 February, 2021 - 08:15
A doctor wearing protective gear handles a coronavirus test sample at Rafik Hariri University Hospital in Beirut, Lebanon. Reuters file photo

Lebanon confirmed Thursday that the national vaccination campaign against the coronavirus will include everyone living on its territories, regardless of their nationality or residency status.

World Health Organization's Representative in Lebanon Iman Shankiti told reporters that during a meeting with Health Minister Hamad Hassan, her host had confirmed that the vaccination plan covered all those residing in Lebanon, including refugees.

Lebanon expects to start COVID-19 vaccinations on Monday.

The Minister announced this week that all the necessary technical and logistical matters have been secured through a group of donors to start the inoculations.

Lebanon has an estimated 1.7 million refugees and asylum seekers, and 400,000 migrant workers.

The Ministry aims to vaccinate 80 percent of the population by the end of 2021.

Also on Thursday, Hassan discussed with Caretaker Foreign Minister Charbel Wehbe vaccinating personnel at diplomatic missions in Lebanon.

“The meeting aims to put a mechanism for the vaccination of (personnel at) diplomatic missions and embassies in Lebanon, including their local staff,” Wehbe said.

Lebanon is expecting its first delivery of two million Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine doses on Saturday, with priority for inoculations to be given to medical personnel and people aged over 75.

President Michel Aoun's advisor for Russian affairs Amal Abou Zeid said following talks with Russia’s Ambassador to Lebanon, Alexander Rudakov, that Moscow is ready to provide Lebanon with vaccines for free.

Meanwhile, the Directorate General of Islamic Awqaf announced an exceptional decision to open mosques for Friday prayers.

It called on worshipers to respect precautionary and prevention measures.

The decision came despite the ongoing rise in COVID-19 cases.

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