0944 GMT May 13, 2021
A member of Parliament said his country is “one of the top 10 states in the world that has obtained good achievements in developing a vaccine against the COVID-19 disease.”
“Despite the oppressive sanctions against Iran, our country is one of the few countries that has advanced in the field of vaccine development along with the developed countries of the world,” a member of the Parliament’s Health and Medicare Committee, Malek Fazeli, told Iran Daily.
He said Iran has a good record in producing vaccines, adding that the country has “about a century of scientific experience in the field of vaccine production.”
Fazeli described vaccine development as a sacred process, explaining that the process “has made the country self-sufficient and contributed to the scientific progress of the nation”.
He said four Iranian coronavirus vaccines are undergoing human testing now. In the early days of the coronavirus pandemic in the country, the MP said, clinical studies for making a vaccine began and some science-based firms contributed to developing the process. All of these resulted in the human test phase of the homemade vaccines.
The outbreak of the coronavirus in Iran was officially confirmed in the central city of Qom on February 19, 2020.
In December, the country began the human test phase of its homemade vaccine, COVIran Barakat, and, at the same time, the Pasteur Institute of Iran began working on a joint vaccine with Cuba and conducted phases I and II of the clinical trials in Cuba, Fazeli said.
Also, the COV-Pars vaccine, developed by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute was approved to receive a human trial license in March,” he added.
Another homegrown jab, Fakhra, for COVID-19 started the clinical trial in March. The first doses of the vaccine were injected into four volunteers at the Ministry of Defense. He said the homemade vaccines seem promising so far.
The official defended the idea of developing vaccines by Iranian firms, expressing hope that the homegrown vaccines will be the best and most effective.
He also said that due to the urgent need for immunization in a surging pandemic, we need to be self-sufficient in developing vaccines.
However, he said because of the high virus positivity rates during waves of coronavirus infections, and also to prevent further casualties, the country should purchase the most effective vaccines to inoculate people.
Fazeli said that despite good achievements obtained in the field of vaccine production around the world, all available vaccines are not perfect in terms of immunization against the disease, side effects and other issues.
He expressed hope that the homemade vaccines will demonstrate good efficacy in the future.
The member of Parliament explained that the major goal of vaccine development is to obtain herd immunity against COVID-19 in the country and be self-sufficient in vaccine development.
Fazeli added that the country also aims to become a COVID-19 vaccine exporter to the world.