News ID: 278805
Published: 0153 GMT December 29, 2020

Iran begins first human trial of homegrown coronavirus vaccine

Iran begins first human trial of homegrown coronavirus vaccine

The vaccine, dubbed Coviran Barekat, is produced by Shifa Pharmed, which is involved in the large-scale production of antibiotics and penicillin since its founding in 1995. It is part of a pharmaceutical corporation known as Barekat which is owned by the Headquarters for Executing the Orders of Imam Khomeini.

The vaccine was administered to three volunteers at a ceremony in Tehran, Press TV reported.

“I am happy that the scientific process went ahead in a proper way,” said Tayyebeh Mokhber, the daughter of the headquarters’ CEO Mohammad Mokhber, who was the first to get jabbed. “I hope the conclusion will be health for our people.”

“Today is one of the most promising days for the Iranian nation,” Health Minister Saeid Namaki said on the sidelines of the ceremony to launch the vaccine trial. 

“It is a day when we could fortunately make the first injection on humans following a long period of efforts on the part of the country’s leading scientists in the field of technology and biotech, who produced the COVID-19 vaccine after various stages, including animal studies and models,” he added.

A total of 56 volunteers would receive two shots administered 14 days apart in the first human trial of the Iranian vaccine and the results will be announced 28 days later.

The vaccine is of the inactivated type, which is made of a virus that is weakened or killed by chemicals.

Iranian authorities expect the vaccine to hit the market by late spring 2021. Before this year’s fast-tracked development of coronavirus vaccines, the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and efficacy with mass trials could take up to a decade.

President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran is cooperating with a “foreign country” to produce another vaccine expected to run in tests in human volunteers in February, AP wrote.

Mokhber said that in addition to the Coviran Barekat vaccine, the headquarters is following the vaccine production through six other ways.

“From the next two or three weeks, we will be ready to produce 1.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in Iran monthly,” he said.

“The equipment required for the production of the coronavirus vaccine in Iran has entered the country and we can reach the production level of 12 million in the near future thanks to the support provided by the Health Ministry and the country’s zealous scientists,” he said.

Iranian scientists have been among the frontrunners in the international race to develop safe and effective vaccines aimed at stopping the spread of the highly-infectious respiratory disease.

Tehran said last month that eight of the vaccines it is formulating locally against COVID-19 had made their way onto the World Health Organization’s list of 48 promising candidate vaccines.

In parallel with efforts at developing homemade vaccines, Iranian authorities have said the country has plans to pre-purchase foreign brands that pass safety and efficiency tests.

Iran, one of the countries hardest hit by the outbreak, reported its first cases of the fast-spreading disease in late February, around a month after the virus first showed up in China.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday reported 6,108 daily infections, pushing the total number to 1,212,481. It said 132 patients had lost their lives to the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 54,946.




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