No COVID-19 vaccines imported from South Korea, Iran says

January 2, 2021 - 17:56

TEHRAN – Iran has denied reports claiming that the country has imported a consignment of coronavirus vaccines from South Korea.

A foreign news outlet had reported that a cargo aircraft of Fars Air Qeshm has transported the first consignment of coronavirus vaccine purchased by the Iranian Red

Crescent Society from South Korea into the country, Mohammad-Hassan Qosian-Moqaddam, secretary-general of the Iranian Red Crescent Society, said on Friday.

“To date, no consignment of coronavirus vaccine has been imported,” he stressed.

Last month, President Hassan Rouhani lashed out at his U.S. counterpart, Donald Trump, for hampering Iran’s purchase of medical equipment and vaccines required to fight the coronavirus pandemic, saying the “evil” team at the White House did not even spare the elderly and the disabled from the “cruel” measures.

Addressing a cabinet meeting, Rouhani said the U.S. administration has placed an obstacle in the path of every single Iranian effort to import vaccines and medical equipment, Press TV reported.

“That is because they have created so many problems and are bothering us to the extent that the entire country has to work for weeks and sometimes months to move money from one place to another to buy medicine, a simple task that could have been taken care of via a phone call, a message, and SWIFT,” he said.

Meanwhile, Christoph Hamelmann, WHO Representative in Iran, has said 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.

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

“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.


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