Pastu Covac neutralizes new COVID-19 strains

July 16, 2021 - 21:53

TEHRAN – Preliminary results of studies show that the Pastu Covac coronavirus vaccine, developed by the Pasteur Institute of Iran, fights very well against new variants of South Africa and India, and in other words, neutralizes them, Alireza Biglari, head of the Pasteur Institute, has said.

The studies also showed that the vaccine performed very well against the South African mutation, which is most prevalent in Cuba, and the New York variant, which combines several strains, including Indian, he stated.

He continued that one of the people’s concerns about the prevalence of African and Indian strains was whether they neutralize the effect of vaccines, while the study, showing the effectiveness of the Iran-Cuba joint vaccine, also alleviated public concern.

The AstraZeneca vaccine, for example, is normally about 70 percent effective, but against the South African strain it drops to 10 percent, but the Pastu Covac can provide up to 62 percent protection against these strains, he explained. 

Third phase of clinical trial underway

The third phase of the clinical trial is underway in eight cities being administrated to 24,000 people, Biglari said, IRNA reported on Thursday.

Although our focus is on clinical trials, mass production is underway. The goal is to produce and deliver about one million doses of vaccine to the Ministry of Health by the end of September, he explained.

“We are developing the production capacity to 2 to 3 times the current capacity,” he added.

Developed by Cuba's Finlay Vaccine Institute and Pasteur Institute of Iran, Pastu Covac vaccine 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.

The two first phases of the human trial have been conducted in Cuba, while the third phase is underway with 24,000 volunteers in Iran and 44,000 volunteers in Cuba.

Mass vaccination

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, 13 million doses of foreign vaccines have already been imported and others are expected soon.
Iran is also producing vaccines jointly with two countries Russia, and Australia, which may also be released by September.

Homegrown vaccines

COVIRAN BAREKAT, the first coronavirus vaccine made by researchers at the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, which has received the license for public use on June 14.
The vaccine was unveiled on December 29, 2020, and started to be mass-produced on March 29.

Razi Cov Pars, developed by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, is the second Iranian-made vaccine that started the clinical trial on February 27.
Iran is producing a total of 9 vaccines.

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