Iran, Cuba coproducing COVID-19 vaccine

January 1, 2021 - 17:42

TEHRAN - The Pasteur Institute of Iran in collaboration with a Cuban company is working on producing a potential vaccine for COVID-19.

The first batch of coronavirus vaccine which will reach Iran will be probably purchased directly from a foreign country, Health Ministry spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Friday. 

“Following that, Iran will receive its share of the COVAX vaccines and then the Pasteur Institute of Iran will co-produce a vaccine with a Cuban company, and finally, the domestically-made vaccine will be produced,” he explained, IRNA reported.

He went on to say that the human trial phase of the vaccine has been carried out successfully in Cuba. “The second phase of the human trial is being conducted under the supervision of the Pasteur Institute of Iran in Cuba. Provide that the second phase is successful, the third phase will be implemented in Iran.”

On December 29, 2020, the first coronavirus vaccine made by Iranian researchers, was unveiled and injected into three volunteers. 

The production line of the Iranian coronavirus vaccine with a capacity of 1.5 million doses per month will be launched within the next 40 days. By the next six months, vaccine production will reach up to 12 million doses per month.

Hossein Vatanpour, an official with the Ministry of Health, has said 16 Iranian knowledge-based companies are working on all types of vaccine platforms. One company is active in producing DNA-based vaccines, and about three others are working to make mRNA-based vaccines, he added.

Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Iran, said on December 28, 2020, that 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. 

“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.

MG

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