0308 GMT August 04, 2021
The emergency use authorization for the first Iranian COVID-19 vaccine, dubbed COVIran Barakat, was granted on Sunday, said the health minister.
In an address to a ceremony on Monday, Saeed Namaki added, “Today Iran obtained the emergency use authorization for COVIran Barakat jab,” IRNA reported.
The vaccine has been developed by Iranian experts at the Headquarters for the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order.
Namaki noted that in a few days, another COVID-19 jab, jointly developed by the Pasteur Institute of Iran and Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute, will be given the emergency use authorization, expressing hope that two other Iranian vaccines, namely, COV-Pars (developed by Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute) and Fakhra (produced by the Defense Ministry), will obtain the permit in the near future.
The Fakhra vaccine is being developed by a research center formerly headed by nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated last year near the Iranian capital of Tehran.
Namaki said in view of the country’s capacity, the entire target population will be vaccinated against COVID-19 by the end of the fall.
He gave the assurance that in a few days, the public inoculation process in the country will gain greater momentum.
The minister noted that the Health Ministry had promised that the Iranian vaccine will obtain the permit and join the national vaccination network by the end of the spring, a pledge that has been fulfilled.
Namaki added the Health Ministry has fulfilled all its promises, saying, “We promised that no Iranian patient would be sent wandering from one hospital to another [amid the pandemic and peaks in infections] and not to let the people face any shortages in terms of medicines for rare patients or medical devices despite US sanctions.”
Foreign media would have skinned Iran alive and trumpeted the issue if the country had been faced with any problem in terms of hospitalizing COVID-19 patients or supplying medicines, the minister said.
Namaki gave the assurance that the Iranian vaccine is among the most effective and least dangerous jabs in the world and has caused the least side effects.
He said 15 million people will be vaccinated by July 22.
The Iranian Health Ministry announced on Monday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections during the past 24 hours stood at 119 and 10,715, respectively.
The statement said the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the outbreak in late February 2020 stand at 82,217 and 3,039,432, respectively.
It added that 3,416 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 1,246 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 2,666,601 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
It also announced that 21,619,536 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out, and 5,205,652 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been administered to people.
The Health Ministry said 16 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 201 are in the orange zone (high-risk), noting that based on a decision by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, travel to and from these cities is prohibited.
The number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) and blue (low-risk) cities are 231 and zero, respectively, according to the ministry’s Monday statement.
Iran has been grappling with the fourth wave of COVID-19 infections over the past few weeks that has caused the country to see daily record-high deaths and infections of above 450 and 21,000 and impose a partial lockdown in very high-risk cities, closing certain businesses and public places.
The number of COVID-19 deaths in Tehran has witnessed a 17.5 percent decline compared to the past few weeks, said the Head of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus in the Iranian capital on Monday.
Alireza Zali added the same declining trend is seen in other indices of the spread of the virus, such as the number of hospitalizations and referrals to medical centers across the capital.
He said at present, dismissals from hospitals outpace admissions in Tehran, tipping the balance in the former’s favor.
Zali put the number of COVID-19 patient referrals to Tehran’s medical centers at between 5,000 and 7,000.
He, nevertheless, described as fragile and unstable Tehran’s situation regarding the spread of the virus, warning the capital’s people against any laxity in observing the health protocols lest they see a rise in the spread of the mutated variants of the virus in the metropolis.
Zali put the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients in the capital at 5,900.