Iran finalizes deal for 60 million "Sputnik V" vaccines

April 16, 2021 - 13:12

TEHRAN – Iran has finalized a deal with Russia to purchase 60 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine, Iranian Ambassador to Moscow Kazem Jalali said on Thursday.

Supported by Iran’s Ministry of Health, the contract was signed between the Iranian Embassy in Moscow and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) to buy 60 million doses of vaccine, which is enough to vaccinate 30 million people.

Jalali said that Iran will receive the vaccines through a period of seven months (May 22-December 21), IRNA reported.

Referring to the current contract for two million doses, Jalali stated that some five shipments, amounting to 520,000 doses of vaccine, have so far been sent to Iran, while the Russian side would deliver the rest as soon as possible.

So far, two Iranian companies have signed a contract with the Russian side for the joint production of vaccines in the country, and the third company also has been introduced and is awaiting approval, he concluded.

Last Saturday, Iran began a 10-day lockdown amid the fourth wave of infections.

During the lockdown, shops, parks, restaurants, bakeries, beauty salons, malls, and bookstores are closed and offices restricted to one-third capacity in cities declared as “red zones" with the highest infection rates.

The capital city of Tehran and 250 other cities across the country have been declared red zones.

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, which started the clinical trial on February 27, will be mass-produced in early August.

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.

Mass-vaccination

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.

The first shipment of the COVAX vaccine was also delivered to Tehran in early April.

“Currently, about 250,000 people in the country have been vaccinated and about 56,000 others have received the second dose of the vaccine,” Alireza Raeisi, spokesman for the National Headquarters for Coronavirus control said.

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