Sanctions won’t affect importing COVAX vaccines by Iran: WHO

December 28, 2020 - 18:18

TEHRAN – Sanctions imposed by the United States will have no effect on importing coronavirus vaccines by Iran from the COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Iran, said on Monday.

“We support and assist Iran in obtaining essential items from the global market, and we did so since the beginning of the pandemic, as we anticipated the provision of medicine to be affected by sanctions,” he added, ILNA reported.

COVAX member states, including Iran, will jointly decide on which brand of vaccine each country to purchase, and the final decision will be announced by the officials, he noted.

Iranian COVID-19 vaccine on human trial phase

Iran started testing its first domestically-made coronavirus vaccine by injecting it to 56 volunteers aged 18 to 50 years on December 20.

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

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.”

In December, Health Minister Saeed 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 death toll, new cases

In a press briefing on Monday, Health Ministry spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 5,908 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,206,373. She added that 960,751 patients have so far recovered, but 5,174 still remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 121 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 54,814, she added.

So far, 7,460,422 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country.

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