Iran plans to import AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India, China, Russia

January 11, 2021 - 13:6

TEHRAN – Iran plans to import some two million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines from India, China, and Russia by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20).

"The Iranian-made vaccine is more reliable than many foreign-made vaccines, but it takes a long time to be approved. So, the health ministry plans to import some two million doses of vaccines from India, China, and Russia by the end of the year," IRNA quoted Mohammad-Reza Zafarghandi, head of the Iranian Medical Council, as saying on Monday.

Pfizer and Moderna vaccines were never on the agenda to be purchased by Iran due to their high prices, transportation problems, and the need to be kept extremely cold, Zafarghandi added.

“But, the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is produced by Sweden and only its scientific studies have been done in Britain’s Oxford, can be purchased. Moreover, it is possible to be kept in Iran,” he explained.

In a televised speech on Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei prohibited the import of American and British coronavirus vaccines to Iran, saying if the Americans were able to produce vaccines they weren’t in such dire circumstances. 

“I really don’t trust them. They sometimes want to test the vaccine on other nations,” Ayatollah Khamenei added.

Following the Leader’s remarks, Mohammad-Hassan Qossian-Moqaddam, the Iranian Red Crescent Society spokesman, said that importing Pfizer vaccines made by the United States ‘is no more the question’.

“We are ready to cooperate, if necessary, in case the Ministry of Health puts in a request [for importing vaccines] from eastern countries,” IRNA quoted Qossian-Moqaddam as saying.

MG

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