Lebanon receives 900,000 additional doses of cholera vaccine

BEIRUT – Lebanon on Thursday received more than 900,000 doses of the cholera vaccine from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Coordination Group (ICG), the United Nations Information Center in Beirut said in a statement.

The vaccines, funded by the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the WHO-affiliate Contingency Fund for Emergencies, will be used in the second phase of Lebanon’s cholera vaccination campaign.

Lebanon rolled out its first phase of cholera vaccination in mid-November 2022, the same month it received 600,000 doses of cholera vaccine from the ICG.

By early December, 90 percent of the targetted groups in Lebanon had been covered, including refugees and their hosting communities in outbreak hotspots.

“We’re thrilled to see our collective efforts with the Ministry of Public Health and all partners paying off despite the global shortages in cholera vaccines,” said Abdinasir Abubakar, the WHO representative in Lebanon.

Since the first case was detected on Oct. 6, as many as 5,135 suspected cholera cases, including 658 laboratory-confirmed ones, and 23 associated deaths have been reported in Lebanon.

The WHO has called for 11.2 million U.S. dollars to fund the cholera response in Lebanon over six months, but only 29 percent has been received so far, said the UN statement.

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