Covid-19 vaccine registration platform goes live in Lebanon
The platform went live this morning despite Beirut not yet securing its first shipment of the vaccine.
All Lebanese citizens, Palestinian and Syrian refugees, and residents will be able to register for the programme.
There are an estimated 1.7 million refugees in Lebanon and a further 400,000 migrants workers.
Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan has urged Lebanese and residents to register online for the vaccine and said he hopes the country can meet its vaccination target of 80 percent of the population by the end of 2021, in order to achieve heard immunity.
Lebanon has ordered 6 million vaccine doses, enough for 3 million people, and is expecting its first shipment of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine in the first half of February.
The healthcare system in Lebanon has been struggling under the weight of cases with capacity being reached in many hospitals with shortages of oxygen.
The head of the parliamentary Health Committee MP Assem Araji urged the public to take the jab and tried to ease people's concerns by saying the vaccine has no "dangerous" side-effects.
Human Rights Watch called on Lebanese leaders to "clearly communicate the government's vaccination strategy, ensure that vaccine access is not determined by political connections or socio-economic status, and apply transparent, evidence-based distribution criteria equally to everyone in Lebanon".
With the announcement of the vaccine registration platform, the health ministry also revealed its planned roll out.
According to the plan each vaccination centre will serve 400 people a day with the first phase prioritising the most vulnerable residents, including health workers, people aged 65 and older, and staff in elderly homes and prisons.
Phase two will target "other vulnerable populations", including school teachers and staff, childcare workers, essential workers in high-risk jobs, and remaining healthcare workers.