Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri is reportedly making efforts to secure between 500,000 to 1,000,000 doses of the Chinese-made COVID-19 vaccine to inoculate Lebanese free of charge, according to various media outlets.
The information was initially being shared over WhatsApp and was later picked up by local media outlets.
Additionally, Lebanese MP Nazih Najem said on Saturday that Hariri was trying to secure doses of the vaccine that will come to Lebanon in the form of aid.
However, according to Hariri’s media advisor, Hussein Wajeh, every piece of news about the premier’s activity that is not issued directly by his media office or his official account should be disregarded.
It appears to be an indirect dismissal of the claims that Hariri had donated the Chinese vaccines for Lebanon. Unless that is, Hariri’s office has decided not to make this information public yet.
In any case, his public reply remains neither a denial nor a confirmation.
Wajeh was not immediately available for comment.
However, given the gravity of the situation, the legal liability involved, and the fact that it is the responsibility of the Health Ministry to deal with such matters, it is unlikely that Hariri would donate a vaccine that is not FDA-approved.
In fact, Lebanon needed to pass a whole new law just in order to import the vaccine it ordered. The law was required to ensure that the medical firms are protected from legal liability in case of potential side effects of the vaccine.
It’s worth noting, though, that Hariri is rumored to have already received the Chinese vaccine during his recent vacation to the UAE as Lebanon broke its own high record for the most infections registered in one day, surpassing 6,000 cases.
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