Iran breaks U.S. monopoly on recombinant flu vaccine

April 20, 2021 - 19:15

TEHRAN – An Iranian knowledge-based company has acquired the technology to produce a recombinant human influenza vaccine, which was monopolized by the United States, IRNA reported on Tuesday.

"Recombinant influenza vaccines are produced using recombinant technology. This method does not require an egg-grown vaccine virus and does not use chicken eggs in the production process.

Currently, the recombinant flu vaccine and the cell culture-based flu vaccine are the only egg-free flu vaccines licensed for use in the United States," Amir Hossein Abdolghaffari, CEO of a knowledge-based company active in the health sector stated.

“As the second producer of recombinant seasonal influenza vaccine in the world, we were able to acquire the technical knowledge to develop the vaccine with the help of experts,” he highlighted.

In previous years, the domestic need was 3 and 3.5 million doses, but due to coronavirus pandemic, the flu vaccine is needed more than before, he said, expressing hope that the vaccine to hit the market by September.

In fact, due to the U.S. sanctions and import limitations, we often have problems in supplying vaccines. Relying on the previous knowledge of our technical team over the past 6 years, we started the production process of the recombinant influenza vaccine in December 2018.

So far, the vaccine has been injected into about 430 people, which has had satisfactory results, he also said.

At present, other flu vaccines cost 7 to 9 Euros to import, so that, 2 to 3 million doses of the vaccine costs us 18-27 million Euros, which with the domestic production, will be reduced to at least one third, he emphasized.

According to IRNA, the first seasonal flu vaccine was unveiled on April 8. In addition, the vaccine is made in accordance with the standards of the World Health Organization, the Food and Drugs Administration, and the Ministry of Health.

In October 2020, the Ministry of Health implemented a national plan to provide two million doses of influenza vaccines for at-risk groups such as the elderly, transplant patients, cardiopulmonary patients, and pregnant women to reduce COVID-19 effects.

According to the national plan on influenza vaccination, up to 80,000 people who are supported by the welfare organization have received free vaccines.

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