Iran to start testing ‘homegrown’ COVID-19 vaccine next week

December 12, 2020 - 17:37

TEHRAN – Iran will start injecting volunteers with its home-grown coronavirus vaccine next week, IRIB reported on Saturday.

“We will produce the best and safest vaccine in the country,” said Mohammad Mokhber, head of the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, which is implementing a plan to produce a domestically-developed vaccine.

The human trial is tested in three stages: in the first stage, 56 people of different genders and ages are injected, and after 28 days and the results of the study are determined, the second stage begins with the injection in 500 people, and after 28 days, the third phase begins with mass production, he explained.

Iranian vaccination by Sept. 2021

Mostafa Ghane'ei, an official with the Vice Presidency for Science and Technology, said that the domestically produced COVID-19 vaccine will probably be injected into the whole population by September 23, 2021.

Emphasizing that no Iranian vaccine has been yet allowed to enter the human phase so far, he said that “progress is made when the Food and Drug Administration issues a vaccine clinical work permit.”

All vaccines are in the pre-clinical stage and it is hoped that at least 4 vaccines to start phase 3 of the human trial in September 2021, he highlighted.

Now that coronavirus vaccines have been developed in the world and the third phase of clinical trials has passed, the possible side effects are almost certain, and Iran will be aware of the side effects which speeds up the process, he noted, adding, “vaccines produced in Iran are the same as those produced in China, India, the United States, etc.”

Iraj Harirchi, the deputy minister of health, has said that in Iran, 12 groups are making efforts to develop coronavirus vaccine, three of which have passed the animal testing.

Two weeks ago, Namaki expressed hope that the country will introduce the home-grown COVID-19 vaccine by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 19, 2021).

COVID-19 toll, new cases

In a press briefing on Friday, Health Ministry spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 8,201 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,100,818. She added that 800,853 patients have so far recovered, but 5,739 still remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 221 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 51,949, she added.

Lari noted that currently, 12 cities are in high-risk “red” zones, 231 in orange and 205 in yellow.

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