News ID: 280625
Published: 0317 GMT February 13, 2021

Iran receives second batch of Russian vaccine: Ministry

Iran receives second batch of Russian vaccine: Ministry

The second consignment of Russian-made Sputnik V vaccines developed to curb the COVID-19 disease arrived in Iran earlier than originally planned, the country's Health Ministry said.

“Moments earlier, the second shipment of Sputnik vaccine, including 100,000 doses of the vaccine, arrived in Tehran a few days ahead of schedule,” Kianoush Jahanpour, the ministry's spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tweeted on Friday night.

“After labeling and coding in the [Tracing, Tracking and Authentication Control] TTAC system, this consignment will be distributed in the country's health network for the vaccination of frontline health workers,” Jahanpour added, Press TV reported.

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.

The effectiveness of the vaccine, therefore, ranks as high as those produced by American pharmaceutical giants Pfizer-BioNTech and Moderna or AstraZeneca, a similar British company.

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

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

The first shipment of the Russian vaccine, 20,000 doses, arrived in Tehran on February 4. The third consignment has been planned to be delivered on February 28.

Last week, Iran’s ambassador to Russia said the shipments were made possible after Tehran and Moscow signed an agreement on January 29 to enable joint work on the vaccine’s production.

Mohammadreza Shanehsaz, the FDA chief, has 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’s Health Minister Saeid Namaki said last week that Anglo-Swedish firm AstraZeneca would provide the country with 4.2 million doses of its vaccine.

Health officials have said AstraZeneca is produced in Russia, India and South Korea.

They are being 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 in total from COVAX and millions from other countries.

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.

Iran is fighting the Middle East’s deadliest outbreak of the coronavirus, with nearly 59,000 lives lost out of more than 1.5 million cases of infection.

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.



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