1047 GMT May 13, 2021
Iran’s Barakat Foundation will increase the capacity of producing its COVID-19 vaccine, known as its COVIran Barakat, to between 18 and 20 million doses by late July, said the chairman of the Execution of Imam Khomeini's Order (EIKO).
In an address to reporters on the sidelines of his Tuesday meeting with Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki, Mohammad Mokhber added by April 21, the foundation will hand over one million doses of its vaccine to the Health Ministry, according to a press release by EIKO’s public relations office obtained by Iran Daily.
In this meeting, Mokhber donated 40 oxygen generators and 200 BiPAPs, worth $2 million, to the Health Ministry.
Speaking to IRNA, he said Barakat Foundation will start mass production of its COVID-19 vaccine as of April 21.
Mokhber expressed satisfaction with the progress of the mass production process of the foundation’s vaccine, adding the first phase of preparing the ground for the production of three million doses of the vaccine has been completed.
He noted that in the second phase, 12 million doses of the jab are planned to be produced.
The construction of a plant to this end has been completed and the equipment is being installed, Mokhber said.
He noted once the production of the vaccine reaches 12 million doses per month, a major part of the country’s need for the jab will be met.
Asked whether Iran has any plan to export its homemade vaccines, Mokhber said that at present, the domestic need matters.
He expressed hope that public vaccination using the homemade vaccine would begin as of May 22.
Mokhber said the first phase of the clinical trial of the Barakat Foundation’s vaccine has been completed with very good results, adding the second phase has already begun.
He noted that the third phase would start in late April.
On December 29, 2020, Barakat Foundation began the human trial phase of its COVID-19 vaccine by giving the jab to three volunteers. As part of the first phase, a total of 56 volunteers received the vaccine.
Last week, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi announced that of the nine COVID-19 vaccines that are under development in Iran, the first homemade jab will be available within 40 days.
He made the remark in a meeting with Malaysian Deputy Foreign Minister Dato’ Kamarudin Jaffar, adding Iranian researchers have been successful in developing nine vaccines, of which four will be distributed in coming months.
Harirchi noted that the second domestically developed vaccine will be available in around 70 days, putting the country’s capacity to produce the jab at eight to 10 million doses per month.
The third and fourth vaccines, he said, will be distributed within 120 days, noting that Iran and Malaysia can cooperate in the production of COVID-19 jabs.
EIKO’s information center head, Hojjat Niki-Maleki, said, in a tweet, that the development process of the COVIran Barakat vaccine has faced no problem.
Describing as bright and promising the past few days for the COVIran Barakat jab, he added, thanks to round-the-clock efforts by the foundation’s experts and scientists, the capacity of the vaccine’s semi-industrial production line has reached three million doses per month, which would increase to over 15 million doses per month once the industrial production line comes on stream.
Medical staff vaccination
Ali Tajernia, deputy director of the Islamic Republic of Iran Medical Council (IRIMC) for management and resources development, said following the consent of the Health Ministry, 45,000 doses of Russia’s Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine were given to the domestic private sector’s physicians who are above 50 years old.
In an address to a press conference on Tuesday, he added in the coming days, 110,000 doses of AstraZeneca's COVID-19 vaccine will be given to the country’s medical staff who are below 50.
Tajernia gave the assurance that no serious side effect was reported at the end of the first phase of the vaccination of the country’s medical staff, which was completed on Tuesday.
He said of the 45,000 doses of the vaccines delivered to IRIMC on Thursday, 14,500 doses were given to the medical staff who are above 50 and are based in the Iranian capital of Tehran; and 30,500 doses were sent to other provinces.
The IRIMC deputy head expressed hope that the injection of the 110,000 doses of AstraZeneca's vaccine would start on Thursday and be completed in 10 days.
The Health Ministry announced on Tuesday that Iran’s total COVID-19 death toll has surpassed 65,000 as 291 died of the disease over the past 24 hours, according to Tasnim News Agency.
Providing the latest COVID-19 statistics in Iran, the Health Ministry’s spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari said on Tuesday that the pandemic has taken the lives of 65,055 patients since its outbreak in country in late February 2020.
The total number of people testing positive for the coronavirus in the country surpassed 2,118,200 after the detection of 24,760 new cases since yesterday, Lari added.
More than 1,729,200 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals across Iran, she noted.
Among those currently undergoing treatment in Iranian medical centers, 4,481 are in critical condition, Lari said.
The spokeswoman also noted that more than 13.86 million coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in Iran so far.
On Saturday, Lari said 257 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 129 cities are categorized as orange (high-risk), adding that based on a decision by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, travel to and from these cities is prohibited, according to IRNA.
She put the number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities at 51 and 11, respectively.
EIKO’s PUBLIC RELATIONS