Tehran-Havana strategic cooperation on coronavirus vaccine production

July 10, 2021 - 17:8

TEHRAN – The long history of cooperation between Iran and Cuba in biotechnology has led to a strategic relationship to develop a COVID-19 vaccine to fight against the global pandemic.

The recent collaboration between the Finlay Vaccine Institute of Cuba and the Pasteur Institute of Iran is on the research and development of vaccine technologies.

Both institutions agreed to transfer technology for the production of Soberana 02, in Iran, following a phase III clinical trial in the country.

92% effectiveness

Through the third phase of the clinical trial on 24,000 Iranian volunteers and 44,000 Cubans, it was found that the vaccine is 92 percent effective, Alireza Biglari, head of the Pasteur Institute, said.

An emergency permit for the Iranian-Cuban vaccine (called Pastu Covac in Iran) was issued on June 29, IRINN reported on Saturday.

The vaccine is also 100 percent effective in preventing severe forms of disease and mortality.

Pastu Covac is a conjugate vaccine with two injectable doses. It consists of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein conjugated chemically to tetanus toxoid. This is the first vaccine to have a booster dose, and it is a great help to evaluate the results of human trials.

Vaccine production achievements

Iran is also producing vaccines jointly with three countries of Cuba, Russia, and Australia, which may also be released by September.

Mass vaccination against COVID-19 started on Iranian citizens with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine on February 9.

While Iran continues efforts to mass-produce local candidates, several foreign vaccines have already been imported and others are expected soon.

To date, the first Iranian-made vaccine has received an emergency use license, called COVIRAN BAREKAT, which is being injected to people across the country and can provide probably between 30 and 50 million doses, by the end of September.

Christoph Hamelmann, the former representative of the World Health Organization in Iran, said in March that Iran has one of the most successful platforms in the world for COVID-19 vaccine production.

"Considering the production line of the Pasteur vaccine, Iran is very advanced and successful in developing a vaccine while being able to help other countries, I am sure that Iran’s vaccine production platform is one of the most successful ones in the region," he said.


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