Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hassan said on Wednesday that Lebanon was currently suspending the usage of the AstraZeneca vaccine pending the decision of the international health authorities.
“The ministry does not take any hasty decisions that might endanger the citizens’ health,“ Hassan told VDL radio station.
Hassan said that the first shipment of AstraZeneca vaccine was scheduled to arrive in Lebanon in mid-March, yet the company had postponed the delivery date, “which rules out any commercial intentions involving the vaccine.”
Stressing that the Ministry encourages the import of the vaccine by private sector companies, he said: “The private sector sought to secure the Russian and Chinese vaccines for private initiatives, the ministry had not prevented but rather encouraged them to do so.”
Hassan added that more than thirty pharmaceutical companies and drug warehouses were given permission to negotiate with vaccine companies abroad provided that the vaccine is provided to citizens free of charge.
On the stages of vaccination in Lebanon, he said that next week the state’s vaccination campaign will begin to target age groups that range between sixty-five and seventy-five years, as well as those suffering from chronic diseases.