Raisi calls for speedy vaccination drive

July 18, 2021 - 11:26

TEHRAN – President-elect Ebrahim Raeisi held a meeting on Saturday with authorities and experts engaged in producing and distributing vaccines for the Covid-19 pandemic, urging an immediate action to vaccinate the citizens against the highly contagious virus.

The meeting took place a few weeks before he is officially sworn in as president.

The meeting was attended by Health Minister Saeed Namaki, Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society Karim Hemmati, Chairman of the Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam Khomeini Mohammad Mokhber, a number of lawmakers, the CEOs of producers of vaccine, managers of the institutions and companies working on the distribution of vaccine, and the vaccination program experts, Tasnim reported.

Campaign against controlling the deadly virus should continue unstoppably, he said, adding his future government will prioritize allocating the necessary fund for vaccinating the citizens.

“Undoubtedly, what has been done so far in areas of vaccination has been necessary but definitely not enough,” he added.

Asking what has been done so far is a complete use of the country’s potential, he said, “I personally believe no.”

He added there is a great potential in “producing and importing” vaccines.

The president-elect said the main focus is on production of vaccine at home but import of vaccines should also be done speedily.

Elsewhere in his remarks, he said it is a “source of honor” that Iranian experts are producing vaccines that are comparable with foreign ones.

In comments on Saturday, outgoing President Hassan Rouhani called for strict compliance with health protocols as the country is facing a rise in the number of people diagnosed with the virus, saying the virus has afflicted almost all parts of the country.

Rouhani promised that his administration will make another 10 million doses of COVID vaccine available within the next two weeks and will complete the vaccination of people above the age of 65 and those with underlying diseases before the end of his tenure.

The death toll from the coronavirus in Iran has surpassed 86,960 since its outbreak in February 2020. So far, some 5.89 million people have received the first dose of coronavirus vaccine in the country.

Speaking at the meeting of the Coronavirus Combat and Prevention Headquarters, Rouhani said the number of patients infected with the new Delta variant of the coronavirus has soared in many provinces.

“Today, we are again facing a rising trend in the pandemic in almost all of the country,” the president added, blaming the spread of the disease on unnecessary travels and laxity in observing health protocols, among other reasons. 

Voicing concern about the latest reports that the level of public compliance with the health protocols has fallen to 48 percent, Rouhani said all efforts should be focused on convincing people to take the pandemic seriously and obey the health rules.

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