Iran soon becomes an important Covid-19 vaccine producer: minister

January 24, 2021 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Iran will be one of the world’s important manufacturers of the Covid-19 vaccine in the near future, Health Minister Saeed Namaki has said.

“In the coming days, we will import the first batches of coronavirus vaccine from reliable sources,” he added, ISNA reported on Sunday.

“Vaccination will start with the vulnerable groups. At the same time, the noble scientists of the country are making efforts round the clock to develop the homegrown vaccine,” he explained.

Mass vaccination by next 2 months

On January 17, President Hassan Rouhani said the government is trying its best to start mass vaccination against the coronavirus by the next two months with the priority given to medical staff and high-risk individuals.

The COVAX vaccines will be provided to the country by the end of the current [Iranian calendar] year (March 20) or at the beginning of the next [Iranian calendar] year, Rouhani said at a meeting of the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control.

Other vaccines have also been purchased which will be available soon, he noted, adding, a co-produced vaccine called “Pasteur” will also be mass-produced during the spring.

Referring to the homegrown vaccines, he announced that two domestic vaccines that have been licensed for the clinical trial will also be available by the next summer.

Homegrown vaccine

Production of COVID-19 vaccine was followed by 16 Iranian companies since the beginning of the outbreak, and so far 12 companies applied to produce the vaccine, of which eight are operating, one of the companies have entered the human trial phase, and two more companies will soon test the vaccines on human, Kianoush Jahanpour, head of the Information Center of the Ministry of Health, said on January 10.

COVIRAN BAREKAT, the first coronavirus vaccine made by Iranian researchers of the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, was unveiled and injected into three volunteers during a ceremony on December 29, 2020.

On January 11, the second dose of the vaccine was injected into the three volunteers.

So far, 14 people have received the first dose of the vaccine, and this number should reach 56 people in the clinical study phase.

After 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.

Hojjat Niki-Maleki head of the information center of Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, said by the next six months, vaccine production will reach up to 12 million doses per month.

On January 18, the second homegrown COVID-19 vaccine developed and proposed by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute has been approved to begin a clinical trial.

COVID-19 daily new cases and mortalities

In a press briefing on Sunday, Health Ministry’s spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 5,945 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,372,977. She added that 1,164,794 patients have so far recovered, but 4,090 remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 89 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 57,383, she added.

So far, 8,905,093 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country.

Lari noted that currently, 18 cities are in medium-risk “orange” zones, and 154 in low-risk “yellow” zones.

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