Thanks to its generous network of donors, LAU has started to immunize its faculty, staff, and students against COVID-19 on June 11, 2021, at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital.
A portion of the initial 80,000 Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines ordered by the institution has arrived following a months-long LAU Vaccination & COVID-19 Response Campaign to secure $2.25 million in donations toward the university’s inoculation program for its internal community and non-LAU constituents. LAU is aiming to vaccinate 40,000 people in total given that each person requires two doses.
On the first day of the rollout, 200 vaccinations took place at LAU Medical Center-Rizk Hospital, free of charge, starting with priority groups – medical condition and age – based on an internal survey conducted by the university.
“Our determination to immunize and protect our LAU family would not have been possible without the concerted efforts and generosity of various entities: the Ministry of Public Health (MoPH) for facilitating our procurement of the vaccines, the consortium of universities for helping to bolster our common drive, and donors and friends of LAU, among whom Mr. Bahaa Hariri whose major contribution boosted our campaign from the start,” said LAU President Michel E. Mawad.
“We are tremendously grateful to our alumni, staff, friends and extended LAU community who have generously donated toward the campaign – without whom we could not have purchased the first shipment of vaccines,” said Assistant Vice President for Development Nassib N. Nasr.
The LAU Vaccination & COVID-19 Response Fund, which is ongoing, aims to raise the resources needed to vaccinate not only LAU’s community of students, faculty and staff, but also their dependents as well as alumni. In addition, there are plans to inoculate the greater community with the remaining vaccines in coordination with the MoPH.
“These vaccines are only the initial amount. LAU, in line with the Ministry of Public Health, will press on with its campaign to broker another deal with Pfizer-BioNTech and get more desperately needed vaccines to Lebanon,” explained Vice President for Advancement George K. Najjar.
LAU’s course offerings are currently being conducted via online platforms, and in some cases, through custom-built programs and tools, leveraging every asset to create and facilitate virtual internships, simulate consultations, and engage students through gamification. However, with this vaccination rollout, the university hopes its campuses will resume in-person operations in the fall.
“The more money raised toward this important initiative, the more LAU can help Lebanon return to normalcy and bring better days for us all,” said New York-based Assistant Vice President for Advancement Nadya Mikdashi.
To donate or enquire about the fund, please contact Nassib Nasr at firstname.lastname@example.org, or +961 76 767 640 (LAU, Beirut campus)/ Nadya Mikdashi at email@example.com or +1-646-420-0706 (LAU NY).