First batch of Pfizer vaccine arrives in Lebanon

BEIRUT (AP) – Lebanon acquired its first batch of coronavirus vaccines on Saturday forward of a nationwide marketing campaign to begin vaccinations within the small Mediterranean nation, which has seen a pointy rise in circumstances and deaths in current weeks.

The 28,500 doses of Pfizer from Brussels arrived on a airplane from the Lebanese nationwide provider and have been to be transported to the warehouse of the Ministry of Well being, the nationwide information company reported. From there, the vaccines can be despatched to different elements of the nation.

The primary vaccinations are anticipated to happen in restricted numbers on Sunday at 4 medical facilities within the capital Beirut earlier than the method begins in additional than a dozen facilities on Monday, native media reported. Inside two weeks, the well being ministry introduced that 57 vaccination facilities have been to be established throughout the nation.

Lebanon has recorded greater than 334,000 coronavirus circumstances and three,915 deaths for the reason that nation’s first recorded case in February final yr.

Lebanon managed to include the virus within the first months of the pandemic, however numbers began to rise following an enormous explosion within the capital’s port in August, which brought about intensive harm to the town. . The variety of circumstances and deaths has reached report highs after round 80,000 expatriates left the nation to rejoice Christmas and New Years with their family members.

Lebanon has imposed a nationwide lockdown, together with a curfew from January 11 in an try to restrict the unfold of the virus.

In response to Abdul-Rahman Bizri, head of the nationwide COVID-19 vaccine committee, additional doses of Pfizer are anticipated to reach within the coming weeks and at a later stage AstraZeneca injections can be launched.

Thus far, some 450,000 individuals have signed as much as take the vaccines, Well being Minister Hamad Hassan stated on Saturday when the vaccines arrived. The determine continues to be a small share of the nation of about six million, together with a million Syrian refugees.

The World Financial institution stated final month it had accredited $ 34 million to assist pay for vaccines for Lebanon that may immunize greater than 2 million individuals.

World Financial institution regional director Saroj Kumar Jha instructed reporters at a digital press convention on the finish of January that Lebanon will import 1.5 million doses of Pfizer vaccine for 750,000 individuals “and we’re absolutely funding it” . The World Financial institution can even assist finance different vaccines.

Lebanon goes by the worst financial and monetary disaster in its trendy historical past, leaving half of its inhabitants beneath the poverty line. The vaccines can be free for the general public.

The plan will start with immunization of medical staff and other people aged 75 and over, in addition to others with persistent sicknesses.

The World Financial institution and the Worldwide Federation of Purple Cross and Purple Crescent Societies on Saturday signed an settlement for unbiased monitoring of the coronavirus vaccination marketing campaign in Lebanon.

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