Officials promised equal access, but refugees are already receiving COVID-19 vaccines at a much slower rate than Lebanese
Health officials in Lebanon had indicated that all residents in Lebanon there would be equal access to the Covid-19 vaccine programme, regardless of nationality. However data is indicating a higher number of Syrian and Palestinian refugees either not registering or receiving the vaccine, and so a low percentage of these groups are being vaccinated compared to rates of Lebanese nationals.
Human Rights Watch reported that this low numbers signalled “a lack of awareness around the process and a lack of trust in the Lebanese government”. Some refugees told Human Rights Watch they didn’t even know they could be registered as they don’t have residency in Lebanon, and others expressed fears of being targeted for arrest and deportation.
The lack of awareness raising among refugee populations on their ability to access the vaccination programmes highlights concerns that they will be left behind.
Publication: L’Orient Today
Writer: Emily Lewis