Sharaf Abu Sharaf, head of the Beirut Doctors Syndicate, said on Friday that all COVID-19 vaccines are safe and have the same efficiency, noting that few vaccines like AstraZeneca’s might cause complications yet fearing it is not justified.
“Just take the vaccine you could have access to,” Abu Sharaf said, adding “we don’t make experiments on citizens because the vaccines have been tried on millions of people around the world.”
In a rebuke to those who do not abide by safety and precautionary measures, Abu Sharaf stressed that the Lebanese state should impose heavy-handed sanctions on violators.
He also pointed out that the economic situation is overwhelming the people in light of a bankrupt state and dominant fear, but said “Lebanon – in particular the medical sector – will not collapse since it has the capabilities to stand on its feet.”
Lebanon registered 52 new coronavirus-related deaths and 3,562 more cases in the last 24 hours, the Health Ministry said on Thursday.
The cases were detected among 21,781 tests, with only 45 cases found among travelers arriving at Beirut International Airport. The average positivity rate throughout the last two weeks stood at 16.8%.
The total number of cases since the virus was first detected in the country on Feb. 21, 2020, rose to 471,962, according to a tally released by the Health Ministry. The total number of fatalities now stands at 6,286.
Germany’s vaccine commission, known as STIKO, recommended on Thursday that people under 60-years old who have had a first shot of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine should receive a different product for their second dose.
Earlier in the week, Germany said only people aged 60 and over should be administered the AstraZeneca vaccine due to the rare but severe occurrence of thromboembolic side effects. It said it would make a separate recommendation later on younger people who had already received a first dose.
In an updated recommendation on its website, STIKO said there was no scientific evidence on the safety of a mixed series of vaccines.
“Until the appropriate data is available, STIKO recommends for people under 60 years old that instead of the second AstraZeneca dose, a dose of an mRNA-vaccine should be given 12 weeks after the first vaccine,” STIKO said.