First batch of COVAX vaccine arrives in Tehran

April 5, 2021 - 18:15

TEHRAN – The first shipment of the COVAX vaccine was delivered to Iran on Sunday, Food and Drug Administration spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said.

The shipment, including over 700,000 doses of Oxford Astrazeneca vaccine manufactured by South Korean firm SK Bioscience, was loaded and sent to Tehran from Amsterdam, Jahanpour wrote on his Twitter account.

Iran started mass vaccination against COVID-19 with Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine on February 9, with the priority given to medical staff, the elderly, and people with underlying diseases; which is also going to be co-produced by the two countries.

According to Alireza Raeisi, spokesman for the National Headquarters for Coronavirus control, some 790,000 doses of vaccine have so far been imported to the country.

Some vaccines are also on the way and will arrive in Iran this week. However, controversy has arisen between some countries due to vaccine shortages, and they refuse to sell, he lamented.

“We purchased 16.8 million doses of vaccine from the COVAX mechanism, and they were supposed to deliver 4.2 million doses since March 21, however, some 780,000 doses delivered,” he stated.

“Currently, about 250,000 people in the country have been vaccinated and about 56,000 others have received the second dose of the vaccine,” he concluded.

Homegrown vaccines

COVIRAN BAREKAT, the first coronavirus vaccine made by researchers at the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam which was unveiled on December 29, 2020, started to be mass-produced on March 29.

The second Iranian coronavirus vaccine, Razi Cov Pars, started the clinical trial by injecting it into two volunteers during a ceremony on February 27.

Fakhra vaccine, the third homegrown vaccine, was unveiled and started the clinical trial on March 16.

On January 27, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said 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 Monday, Health Ministry’s spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 13,890 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,945,964. She added that 1,658,978 patients have so far recovered, but 4,095 remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 172 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 63,332, she added.

So far, 13,183,709 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country.


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