The New Lebanese Health Minister Firas Abiad warned today about the fast spread of the Omicron variant and that the authorities might consider a new lockdown if people are not complying by the government’s COVID guidelines.

This is understandable given that most countries worldwide are considering renewing restrictions to help contain the Omicron variant, but what puzzles me is the still-very low vaccination rate in Lebanon. As of today, Lebanon has administered at least 4,386,756 doses of COVID vaccines so far, which is enough to vaccinate around 33% of the country’s population. Based on covidvax numbers though, ONLY 27% of the Lebanese are fully vaccinated and we need at least a year (306 days to be exact) at this rate to vaccinate everyone.

So the question is: What’s stopping the health ministry from speeding up the vaccination process? Knowing that everything is being offered for free to third world countries in terms of vaccines and medical equipment? And why isn’t the ministry encouraging further hospitals and doctors to get people to take the vaccines and prevent a repeat of 2021?

If there’s anything we are sure of so far, it’s that vaccines work and hospitalizations have dropped dramatically this year despite the new variants that spread. So why aren’t we vaccinating more and at a faster rate?