There’s Another Flaw In Lebanon’s Vaccination Process


Dr. Firass Abiad, manager and CEO of Rafik Hariri University Hospital, has noted a significant issue with Lebanon’s current inoculation campaign, as the governmental registration platform leaves out the digitally-illiterate population.

In a tweet, Abiad explained how those under the poverty line cannot register through the online platform, as it requires a certain level of digital literacy and financial means to purchase a digital device.

“This poses a challenge if we need to diffuse the vaccine to the less educated or vulnerable population,” Abiad said.

Areas outside Beirut and Mount Lebanon have recorded a low number of registrations, according to Abiad. This may be attributed to residents of villages and rural areas who do not have the means to register for the vaccine.

Abiad stated that this also adds to the other barriers Lebanon’s vaccination drive is encountering, such as a lack of trust in health authorities, an absence of public health awareness, as well as inefficient logistics.

“The numbers of available vaccines is limited, there are currently more registered individuals than available vaccines. As more vaccines arrive, the situation will change from a supply into a demand problem,” he said.

The health expert criticized Lebanese officials who left out a large number of citizens, going on to add that “COVID-19 exposed various inequalities present in society.”

Abiad advises a proactive approach, instead, where officials can reach the digitally-illiterate individuals and help them register.

“From the onset, one cardinal rule has been clear, we are as strong as our weakest link,” Abiad added.

Lebanon on Wednesday recorded 62 new coronavirus-related deaths and 3,513 more cases.

Early Wednesday, Lebanese MPs were discovered to have taken vaccines, reportedly queue-jumping – a clear violation of the agreement with the World Bank. Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan tried downplaying it by calling the reactions “exaggerated.”

We have a dedicated coronavirus section where you can find the latest news/updates about the pandemic in Lebanon, inform yourself with WHO-verified resources, and track the number of cases in Lebanon in real-time. Click here.

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