President Hassan Rouhani said Iran is considering to begin the nationwide vaccination against the COVID-19 pandemic in the current Persian calendar month which ends on February 18.
“In this meeting, it was announced that all efforts are being made to start the vaccination in the country in the month of Bahman, God willing, and this is a very important job,” he told a meeting of the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday.
Rouhani said that in the next calendar year, which starts on March 21, three Iranian vaccines will be available, according to Press TV.
Some of these vaccines are completely homegrown and the remaining are joint products, he added.
Iran will receive over 16 million doses of vaccines from COVAX, a multi-agency group dedicated to assuring fair access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, Rouhani said, adding that the country will also try to procure vaccines from elsewhere.
“The domestic vaccine is an honor for us, and the foreign vaccine is a necessity … until the domestic one is available,” he said.
Last month, Iran launched human trials of its first domestically-developed COVID-19 vaccine after successfully completing the initial steps and obtaining necessary approvals.
In parallel with efforts at developing home-made vaccines, Iranian authorities have said the county has plans to purchase foreign brands that pass safety and efficiency tests.
Efforts by the government, health sector and people’s cooperation in recent months have led to significant decrease in the number of deaths and new coronavirus cases in the country.
Since November, Iran has imposed tough restrictions across the country to stem the spread of the virus.
On Saturday, Iran registered the lowest death toll in nearly eight months.
Iran’s Health Ministry’s spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said that 69 people have lost their lives from Friday to Saturday, bringing the total death toll to 57,294, according to IRNA.
She also put the total new cases at 1,367,032 after 6,207 tested positive for the virus during the 24-hour period.
She also added that there is no high-risk city in the country. However, she expressed concern about the further spread of the virus in some cities where the people’s negligence in observing the health protocols has led to the increase in the number of hospitalizations in recent days.
Describing the coronavirus situation in the country as fragile, the ministry’s spokesperson said that adherence to the health protocols is an important and effective principle in ensuring the people’s health.