Zafarqandi said that the coronavirus vaccine which has been produced in the country is more reliable than the foreign ones, but since its mass production takes time, the Health Ministry has decided to import coronavirus vaccines produced in India, China or Russia, according to IRNA.
He also added Iran has not been seeking to purchase the American vaccine Pfizer and the British one Moderna due to their high prices and transportation problems.
On Friday, the Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei said that he was opposed to the purchase of COVID-19 vaccines made by American and British companies, Press TV reported.
“I have already said it to government officials, and now announce it publicly. The import of American and British vaccines is prohibited,” the Leader said.
“Had the Americans managed to produce a vaccine, they would not have faced such a mess today in their own country. In one day, some 4,000 people died from COVID-19 in the US,” Ayatollah Khamenei stated, adding, “I really don’t trust them. Sometimes they want to test the vaccine on other nations.”
The Leader stressed, however, that the Iranian government is allowed to procure the COVID vaccine from other reliable sources.
A senior Iranian health official also said the Islamic Republic is concerned that world bodies such as the United Nations and the World Health Organization are biased in favor of inadequately-tested US technology and this is why they are trying to pressure countries into using US vaccines whose effects and side effects have not been established in a scientific way yet.
In a letter to UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on Monday, Seyyed Alireza Marandi, the president of Academy of Medical Sciences of the Islamic Republic of Iran, criticized the silence of world bodies, especially the UN and WHO, in the face of the US “oppressive medical sanctions” against Iran.
“I repeatedly emphasized that the oppressive sanctions of the United States and its Western allies have denied Iranians access to vital medicines and undercut their basic human rights. These debilitating sanctions have been imposed on us for decades,” Marandi said.
The total number of coronavirus cases surpassed 1,292,000 on Monday, according to the Health Ministry.
Speaking at a daily press conference on Monday, Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said the number of people testing positive for COVID-19 across the country rose to 1,292,614 after the detection of 6,208 new cases from Sunday to Monday.
She also said the death toll from COVID-19 reached 56,262, noting that the disease took the lives of 91 patients during the same period.