This Is Lebanon’s Plan To Vaccinate Migrant Workers

Jacob Russell/VOA

The Lebanese Ministry of Labor has just launched its plan for vaccinating migrant workers in Lebanon against COVID-19 in hopes to “achieve nationwide immunity” against the rapidly spreading coronavirus, said caretaker Labor Minister Lamia Yammine.

Lebanon had already begun its vaccination campaign, leaving out migrant workers, resulting in a flurry of backlash from human rights groups and activists.

On Thursday, the Labor Minister Lamia Yammine headed a meeting attended by the head of the National Committee for Vaccination in Lebanon, Dr. Abdel-Rahman El-Bizri, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), and representatives from NGOs to discuss the vaccination plan for migrant workers.

Dr. El-Bizri expressed the meeting’s aim was to develop a “real, integrated and comprehensive plan” to immunize migrant workers, noting that some workers are registered to work legally while some are not.

This makes it difficult to determine the exact number of migrant workers who can get vaccinated.

Because of some of these obstacles, he announced that the action plan will take place in three phases, the first being to determine the number of migrant workers through the information available at the Labor Ministry, different embassies, and the International Labor Organization.

The second step will be to divide and prioritize the individuals who are most vulnerable to the virus, as is being done in Lebanon’s national vaccination plan.

Finally, the third step will be to invite entities that employ migrant workers to contribute to the vaccination plan for migrant workers.

The Labor Ministry was not immediately available to provide more information on what happens next or how the vaccination plan will happen on the ground.