BEIRUT: Eight universities in Lebanon will start acquiring coronavirus vaccines privately, seeking to kick-off the new academic year in-person, as they signed agreements with the Health Ministry Friday.
Caretaker Health Minister Hamad Hasan signed agreements that will allow eight universities to purchase the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for their staff, faculty and students. He had announced last month that 750,000 jabs of the Pfizer vaccine will directed to the private sector.
Around 320,000 doses will be divided between the American University of Beirut, the Lebanese American University, the Universite Saint Joseph and the St. George University Hospital. The state's Lebanese Universitry will receive 50,000 doses, while the Beirut Arab University will receive 15,000, Balamand University and the Holy Spirit University of Kaslik 10,000.
The universities make their payments to the Health Ministry and all those who take their vaccine through their university are required to register on the government's electronic platform.
The Pfizer vaccines are slated to arrive between July and September.
Hasan also announced that a walk-in system to receive vaccines will be implemented countrywide starting June. Appointment cancellations have become common lately as some people have become hesitant to receive the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine due to studies pointing to the rare possibility of blod clots forming in the brain. This has left hospitals will excess vaccines which has prompted initiatives such as the walk-in method, since many others are eager to get the jab.
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