People in Beirut Rallying Against Mandatory COVID Vaccination

© AP Photo / Hussein MallaA woman flashes a victory sign as she receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a nationwide vaccination campaign, at the Saint George Hospital, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.
A woman flashes a victory sign as she receives the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine during a nationwide vaccination campaign, at the Saint George Hospital, in Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2022
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BEIRUT (Sputnik) - People are protesting against mandatory COVID-19 vaccination on Martyrs' Square in the centre of the Lebanese capital city of Beirut, a Sputnik correspondent said on Saturday.

"We are not against vaccination, we are for freedom of choice. The measures introduced by the authorities deprive us of the right to make decisions. They plan to prohibit unvaccinated people from working and students from studying", a participant of the rally told Sputnik.

The protesters believe that the actions of the authorities run counter to the constitution and suspect that COVID-19 data of the Ministry of Health do not correspond to reality and are overstated.
The protest is taking place peacefully, with a minimal police presence.
The protests come after the country banned visits to public places on 17 December, including restaurants and tourist sites, without a vaccination certificate or a negative PCR test.
© AFP 2022 / ANWAR AMROA patient who is suffering from the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus is treated at the intensive care unit of the Geitaoui hospital in the Lebanese capital Beirut, on January 14, 2021.
A patient who is suffering from the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus is treated at the intensive care unit of the Geitaoui hospital in the Lebanese capital Beirut, on January 14, 2021. - Sputnik International, 1920, 08.01.2022
A patient who is suffering from the Covid-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus is treated at the intensive care unit of the Geitaoui hospital in the Lebanese capital Beirut, on January 14, 2021.
On 1 December, Lebanese Minister of Health Dr Firass Abiad announced that all medical workers, education, tourism, and public sector employees will be obligated to be vaccinated starting from 10 January.
According to the Lebanese Ministry of Health, as of Thursday, a total of 753,879 cases of COVID-19 had been detected in the country, with 9,231 deaths. According to the ministry, 65.5% of Lebanon's population are vaccinated with Sputnik V, Pfizer, AstraZeneca, or Sinovac.
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