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The New Arab Staff

Lebanon receives second Pfizer vaccine shipment

Nearly 8,000 people have been vaccinated since the inoculation drive was launched last Sunday [GETTY]

Date of publication: 21 February, 2021

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Lebanon received its second shipment of the coronavirus vaccine Saturday, containing around 31,500 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.
Lebanon received its second shipment of the coronavirus vaccine Saturday, containing around 31,500 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, according to local media.

It's the second Covid vaccine shipment to arrive in Lebanon, and comes one week after the first 28,500 doses.

The country, which has a population of 6.8 million, is set to receive weekly Covid vaccine shipments.

Beirut has so far reserved around 6.3 million coronavirus vaccine doses, which are enough to inoculate around half the population as each person needs two doses for full effect.

Some 2.7 million doses are expected through the COVAX platform, a facility which is procuring and financing vaccines for developing countries.

Nearly 8,000 people in Lebanon have been vaccinated since the vaccine drive was launched last Sunday.

Front line health workers and those over the age of 75 are set to take the vaccine first, in accordance with the government's national plan.

Next will be all those between the ages of 65 and 74 and people between the ages of 55 and 64 with pre-existing health conditions.

Only around 650,000 people have so far signed up to get the jab.

Health experts have expressed concern at the slow pace of registration in Lebanon with one expert saying the public were showing a sign of "vaccination hesitancy", according to The Daily Star.

Of 500 people surveyed by private think-tank Information International, 31 percent said they would get vaccinated, 38 percent said they would rather not, and another 31 percent were undecided.

This is particularly important in the Middle East, where only around one percent of the wider Middle East region's population had received a first coronavirus vaccine shot, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).

"So far, more than 6.3 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been given to people in 12 countries," Ahmed al-Mandhari, the Cairo-based WHO's regional chief, told reporters.

WHO's Eastern Mediterranean Region (EMRO) comprises 21 member states and is home to some 583 million people.

Lebanon hosts more than six million people and has officially recorded 353,371 coronavirus cases, including 4,297 deaths.

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