Jordan and Lebanon will receive hundreds of thousands of Covid-19 vaccine doses from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE over the next few months.
On Monday, Beirut-Rafic Hariri International Airport received 100,000 doses of the coronavirus vaccine. UPS trucks bring donated doses to Rafic Hariri Hospital, Lebanon’s largest public hospital.
The vaccine’s final goal isn’t in that location. Merchandise will be transported across the border by the Lebanese authorities. According to the United Nations, Lebanon hosts 1.5 million Syrian refugees plus refugees from Ethiopia, Iraq, and Sudan. There are a lot of people out there that are poor. “A crisis within a crisis” refers to the combination of these conditions and the current epidemic.
Pfizer and BioNTech will donate 600,000 doses to Lebanon and Jordan, respectively. Vaccination partners will work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to restock nations’ stockpiles. Many Syrians have sought refuge in Lebanon and Jordan after fleeing the country’s civil turmoil.
A Pfizer regional president for Africa and the Middle East said, “Exceptional situations require extraordinary solutions.” A national immunization program that is efficient and thorough benefits everyone, especially the poor and vulnerable.
As the delta variant spreads, global health authorities are concerned about immunization access. As compared to low-income countries and regions, high-income countries and regions vaccinate 20 times more frequently. A disproportionate number of those impacted are refugees and asylum seekers, who are frequently left out of national immunization campaigns.
500,000 doses will be shipped to Lebanon by Pfizer and BioNTech in the fourth quarter to replace those lost by refugees.
Hamad Hassan, Lebanon’s departing health minister, was on hand to supervise the delivery of vaccine doses on Monday. “The country has been attentive in its pursuit of an equal immunization program for all people,” he said. This includes citizens, refugees, and overseas workers.
Even in light of the country’s dire economic situation, Hassan says, “We distribute Covid-19 vaccinations to refugees free of charge.”
Many of the vaccines provided by Pfizer and BioNTech to Lebanon were used to immunize refugees.
Vaccination doses were supplied to Jordan by Campaign Pfizer-BioNTech in August of this year.
Last month, companies sent 150,000 pills to Jordan to replace those given to refugees in the country’s urban and rural locales, both urban and rural. The United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and Jordan’s Ministry of Health have also worked together to distribute vaccines in the Za’atari and Azraq camps.
In January, Pfizer-BioNTech injections began Jordan’s vaccine campaign. An agreement has been reached with Jordan to purchase 8.5 million two-shot quantities of the drug. This supply has been protecting refugees from Covid-19 for months now. Refugees can be vaccinated at any facility in the country.
Pfizer and BioNTech will donate 50,000 doses to Jordan in October. Donations from corporations were cited as a way to support the country’s vaccination administration and protection.
Jordan’s Minister of Health Firas Al-Hawari claimed refugees were included in every stage of the Covid-19 response. Jordan provided immunizations to refugees in the same way as it does to Jordanians.
Pfizer and BioNTech’s strategy to boost humanitarian help with UN cooperation should be pushed further.
“We’re working with governments and international NGOs to make sure that displaced and vulnerable people have access to vaccines,” said Caroline Roan, senior vice president of Pfizer’s global health and social impact division. The approach to national immunization taken by Jordan and Lebanon demonstrates how other countries can obtain Covid-19 vaccines.
The UN has urged states to vaccinate displaced people and provide other services.
The Pfizer Foundation, apart from its for-profit namesake, has given UNHCR funds for essential health programs.
Aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh is provided by UNHCR with funds from this organization. In Cox’s Bazar, money from the Pfizer Foundation will be used to build isolation and treatment centers. Grants will be provided to refugee facilities in Colombia as well.