1018 GMT February 28, 2021
The Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has not imposed any prohibition on using authorized foreign COVID-19 vaccines in Iran prior to developing domestic ones, said the health minister.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Saeed Namaki added, “We have a plan for vaccinating vulnerable individuals and high-risk groups in the country according to which we will move ahead,” IRNA reported.
The minister said proposals for the imposition of COVID-19 restrictions during Norouz holidays (March 21-April 3), celebrated to mark the arrival of the New Year (starting March 21) in Iran, have been submitted to the National Taskforce for Fighting Coronavirus, adding the taskforce will decide on the issue.
He said that the country’s domestically developed COVID-19 vaccines are undergoing the required tests successfully, adding that Iran will soon turn into an important center in the world for the production of the vaccine, according to Fars News Agency.
“Iranian scientists are making round-the-clock efforts to develop our national vaccine,” Namaki said.
He gave the assurance that the Iranian government has provided the needed resources for importing COVID-19 vaccines from foreign companies, saying the first batch of the vaccines will enter the country in the coming days.
On Saturday, President Hassan Rouhani said three domestically developed coronavirus vaccines will be mass-produced and given to millions of Iranians by late spring or early summer.
Clinical trial phase
In addition, a senior Iranian health official announced on Sunday that the first clinical trial phase of the Iranian coronavirus vaccine, known as CO-Iran, will be completed by mid-February.
Mohammad-Reza Salehi, the manager of the the Iranian vaccine’s clinical trial project, said in the second stage of the first phase, the vaccine will be tested on 14 new individuals, noting that in the second phase of the project, it will be tested on 500 people.
The death toll from the COVID-19 pandemic in Iran exceeded 57,380 on Sunday, while more than 1,164,000 people have recovered, according to the Health Ministry, Tasnim News Agency reported.
Speaking at a daily press conference on Sunday, the Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat-Lari put the death toll from the novel coronavirus in Iran at 57,383, saying the disease has taken the lives of 89 patients over the past 24 hours.
She noted that at least 1,164,794 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or been discharged from hospitals across the country.
The number of the people who have tested positive for COVID-19 infection in Iran has surpassed 1,372,900 following the detection of 5,945 new cases since Saturday noon, the spokeswoman added.
Among those currently undergoing treatment in medical centers across the country, 4,090 patients are in critical conditions, Lari said.
She also said more than 8,905,000 coronavirus diagnostic tests have been carried out in Iran so far.
The number of people infected with COVID-19 across the world has surpassed 99 million, with the death toll exceeding 2.13 million.