The elderly, war-disabled getting COVID-19 vaccine

February 26, 2021 - 17:14

TEHRAN – The vaccination against COVID-19 of the elderly and the disabled war veterans being kept in nursing homes across Iran began on Thursday, ISNA reported.

Along with the vaccination of medical staff, 110,000 war veterans who were disabled during the Sacred Defense (the 1980-1988 war imposed by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein) and the elderly who are living in daycare centers will be vaccinated, Iranian Food and Drug Administration spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

Also, the second dose of the vaccine will be injected into the target population three weeks after receiving the first dose, he added.

“Efforts are being made to fully vaccinate the target groups of phase one before the Iranian new year (March 21), with the next shipments of vaccines, which will gradually enter the country in the coming days,” he explained.

According to the national vaccination document, vaccination against coronavirus started with priority given to health workers, vulnerable and high-risk groups, and then ordinary people will receive the vaccine.

22% of the elderly infected with COVID-19

One year after the outbreak of the coronavirus, 22 percent of the elderly in nursing homes have been infected with the virus, Vahid Qobadi Dana the head of the Welfare Organization said.

Some 14,000 elderly people cared for in the daycare centers, 3,176, or 22 percent of whom were infected, 2,295 recovered, 506 are under treatment, and unfortunately, 375, or 2.6 percent, died, he stated.

In total, taking the disabled into account, a total of 51,000 people are kept in these daycare centers, of whom 7,000 have been diagnosed with COVID-19, 6,000 of whom have recovered, and unfortunately, 452 people died, he said.

Qobadi Dana went on to say that in October 2020, influenza vaccines have been provided free of charge to some 80,000 people under the Organization’s coverage.

Mass vaccination

Iran started mass vaccination with Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, with the priority given to medical staff, the elderly, and people with underlying diseases; and is also going to be co-produced by the two countries.

Importing vaccine from COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, is also on the agenda.

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 27, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that there are four different ways to supply the coronavirus vaccine, including direct purchase from a foreign country, procurement from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, a joint production with a Cuban company as well as domestic production of the vaccine.

He emphasized that Iran will soon be one of the world’s important manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine.

New cases and mortalities

In a press briefing on Friday, Health Ministry’s spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 8,103 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,615,184. She added that 1,379,922 patients have so far recovered, but 3,720 remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 69 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 59,899, she added.

So far, 10,734,375 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country. 

Lari noted that currently, 11 cities are at high-risk “red” zones, 31 cities in medium-risk “orange” zones, 252 cities in low-risk “yellow” zones.

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