Covid-19: the vaccination campaign begins in Lebanon with caregivers as an example

Audio 01:17

28,500 first doses of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine are currently being distributed in Lebanese hospitals, such as here at Saint George Hospital in Beirut, on February 14, 2021. © Noé Pignède / RFI

Text by: RFI Follow

4 min

In Lebanon, the vaccination campaign against the new coronavirus has been launched.

The first 28,500 doses of the Pfizer / BioNtech vaccine are currently being distributed to hospitals across the country with the hope of finally curbing the epidemic.

Hospital staff were the first on Sunday February 14 to receive the vaccine.

A necessity for these men and women on the front line in the fight against Covid-19.

And a way, too, to set an example, when a large part of the Lebanese population says they do not want to be vaccinated.


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With our correspondent in Beirut, 

Noé Pignède

Under a tent erected in front of Saint-Georges hospital, doctors and nurses receive their first doses of vaccine in front of dozens of journalists and cameras.

The communication operation is assumed.

For Doctor Edgar Nasser, it is above all a question of convincing his compatriots of the harmlessness of the vaccine.

 The message we're going to leave with people is: we have to get vaccinated

,” he says.

We have had enough of conspiracy stories, we talk about them a lot stupidly.

There are all kinds of theories and assumptions that don't make sense.

I have confidence in the studies and in the work that has been done.

And then we have no other choice, so we have to go. 


Collective immunity expected by the end of the year

For now, nearly half of Lebanese are still reluctant to be vaccinated against Covid-19, worried about possible side effects.

But, according to doctor Eid Azzar, infectious disease specialist, it is a risk to be taken.

As he explains, “

 you can't use the precautionary principle here.

It's war medicine now, it's not normal medicine.

In normal medicine, you wait five or seven years to finish all your studies, but you can't do it in a state like we are here.

We are already very

advanced in the epidemic

, which is why I am going to take it.

It is a bit of an experiment that all of society must do because we have no other choice. 


According to forecasts, 60% of the Lebanese population should be vaccinated by the end of the year.

A rate which, according to experts, would achieve collective immunity.

See also: Lebanon launches its vaccination campaign against Covid-19


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  • Lebanon

  • Coronavirus

  • Vaccines

  • Health and medicine

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