IRCS in talks for importing COVID-19 vaccines from renowned sources

August 30, 2021 - 18:57

TEHRAN – The Iranian Red Crescent Society is currently negotiating with a number of renowned international manufacturers for importing coronavirus vaccines.

“In addition to China’s Sinopharm, we are negotiating with other renowned companies such as Sputnik [of Russia], Johnson and Johnson [of the Netherlands], CanSino Biologics [of China], and AstraZeneca [of England],” IRNA quoted IRCS official Alireza Askari as saying on Monday.

As per contracts signed with international manufacturers, some 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine should be imported by the end of 2021, Nasser Riyahi, the head of the Association of Medicine Importers, said on Sunday.

The COVAX facility has pledged to provide Iran with 16.8 million doses of the vaccine, IRIB quoted Riyahi as saying.

Russia has also signed contracts to export 30-50 million doses of the vaccine to Iran, but it has reneged on the promise, he noted.

“It had been planned to import 50 million doses of Chinese vaccine from Sinopharm, but to date around half of the amount has been delivered.”

On August 25, World Health Organization (WHO) representative to Iran Jaffar Hussain announced that three million doses of vaccine will be delivered soon to the country under the COVAX facility.
The COVAX Facility is a partnership, co-led by Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI), Gavi-The Vaccine Alliance, and the WHO, alongside key delivery partner United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Iran has purchased 16.8 million doses, while roughly 5.8 million doses have already arrived in the country, and three million is expected to receive by the coming days, he stated.

The Iranian Red Crescent Society head Karim Hemmati said on August 26 that a total of 20.390 million doses of the vaccine have been imported so far.

Moreover, negotiation is underway with one or two European countries to purchase Pfizer and Moderna coronavirus vaccines, Alireza Raisi, the spokesman for the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, has said.

Referring to good efforts made to import vaccines, he said: “By the end of September, we will definitely import about 30 million doses of vaccine. With another memorandum of understanding from October, we will receive another 30 million doses.

So, if we receive 60 million doses of vaccine, we can vaccinate the age group of 30 by the beginning of November.”

Meanwhile, President Ebrahim Raisi has confirmed that 30 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be imported.

“All public and private sectors, real and legal persons, and individuals must be coordinated and unanimous to control the spread of this dangerous virus,” Raisi said on August 14.

Raisi highlighted that it is not solely enough to draft and announce health protocols, adding that if an individual disobeys the protocols and causes people to get sick, he has violated their rights.

In his August 11 televised address, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei suggested that containing the rapidly increasing wave of the Coronavirus is the first and foremost issue of the country.

Placing great emphasis on the fulfillment of duties and the implementation of decisions regarding the Coronavirus pandemic, Ayatollah Khamenei said “the vaccine, whether imported or domestically produced, must be provided with double effort and in any way possible made available to all people."

"Fortunately, with the production of the domestic vaccine, its foreign import route is also paved, while before that, despite the payment for the vaccine, foreign sellers failed to fulfill their commitments," the Leader said, urging officials to take importation and production of vaccine seriously.


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