UN Lebanon kicks off Vaccination Program for Staff and Dependents
On 15 May 2021, the UN in Lebanon kicked-off its system-wide COVID-19 Vaccination Programme for all its UN personnel and designated dependents in Lebanon.
“Vaccines are here! Hoping to get back to the things we love soon,” said most staff members, cheerfully while waiting for their turn at a Beirut hospital where the UN COVID-19 Vaccination Program kicked off on May 15.
In order not to disrupt the National COVID-19 Vaccination program that is underway and managed by the Lebanese Ministry of Public Health (MoPH), the 1st jab was administered to staff members and their dependents over two consecutive weekends in May. This UN vaccination program is managed by the National Vaccination UN Coordinator, in coordination with the Global Vaccination Deployment Team, Lebanese Ministry of Public Helath (MoPH) and WHO Country Office in Lebanon.
UN Deputy Special Coordinator, Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator Najat Rochdi said the UN vaccination program, which has been closely and successfully coordinated with MoPH, allowed thousands of staff members and their eligible dependents access to the COVID-19 vaccine at a time when the country is facing one of its worst socio-economic crises. “This helps reduce the burden on the government and ensure that more people get vaccinated to help flatten the curve on the virus and get back soon to the things and the people we love,” Rochdi said. “Our hope is that everyone in Lebanon, including migrants and refugees, get vaccinated,” she added.
Present on site was the UN Joint Medical Service led by Medical Doctor Josette Sfeir and her team of nurses who worked relentlessly to ensure a successful process, coordinating efficiently between staff and the hospital personnel.
“Today we reached an important milestone in our fight against COVID19. We committed to our staff’s health, safety and well-being and kept our promise by offering them easy access to the vaccine. It is only by protecting them that we can go back to normal and continue our joint mission to serve others,” said Dr. Sfeir.
“The process was extremely easy and smooth. I’m grateful for the UN’s support and for offering us the vaccine. Today, I feel relieved and protected,” said Afif Barakat, security officer at ESCWA.
“Like most staff members, I was thrilled to learn about the UN vaccination program in Lebanon. I’ve been working round the clock with all WHO staff to respond to the COVID-19 crisis since the very start of the pandemic, and I had seen what this virus can do to people. We all felt scared from this deadly disease and wanted to be protected,” said Hala Habib, communication officer with WHO Lebanon.