News ID: 280327
Published: 0442 GMT February 04, 2021

First batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Iran

First batch of Russian COVID-19 vaccine arrives in Iran

The first batch of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine arrived Thursday in Iran, as the country struggles to stem the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East.

"The first shipment of vaccines from Moscow... has landed at Imam Khomeini International Airport in Tehran," IRNA reported.

The second and third deliveries of the vaccine are due to be sent to Tehran on February 18 and 28, the news agency quoted Kazem Jalali, Iran's ambassador to Moscow, as saying.

Mohammadreza Shanehsaz, the head of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, said that Iran has purchased two million doses of the Russian vaccine.

He explained that other reliable and authorized vaccines have been identified by Iranian experts and that the purchase of vaccines from companies in India and China is on the agenda.

Iran is fighting the Middle East's deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus, with over 58,000 lives lost out of more than 1.4 million cases of infection, AFP wrote.

Iran has time and again blasted the United States for hampering its access to vaccines through a tough sanctions regime.

While food and medicine are technically exempt, international banks tend to refuse transactions involving Iran.

Russia registered the Sputnik V jab – named after the Soviet-era satellite – in August last year.

An analysis of clinical trials in topic medical journal The Lancet published this week indicated the Russian vaccine’s efficacy of 91.6 percent against symptomatic cases of COVID-19.

Several countries beyond Russia have begun administering Sputnik V, including Argentina.

German Health Minister Jens Spahn said Wednesday talks were ongoing with Russia to explore production capacities for the Sputnik jab in Germany or elsewhere in Europe.


AstraZeneca order

Iran's Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Wednesday that Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca would provide the country with 4.2 million doses of its vaccine.

"AstraZeneca is produced in Russia, India and South Korea, and Iran uses these anti-coronavirus products," Health Ministry official Kianoush Jahanpour.

They were purchased via COVAX, the mechanism for the equitable distribution of vaccines established by the UN World Health Organization.

Iran is planning to import some 17 million doses of vaccine from COVAX and millions from other countries, AP wrote.

Iran started clinical trials of its own vaccine in late December and said it expects to distribute it in spring.

The country has also began working on a joint vaccine with Cuba. 




Resource: IRNA
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