0453 GMT October 28, 2021
Iran on Friday received the second consignment of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine, having more than one million doses, donated by Japan.
The batch, containing 1,098,300 doses of the vaccine, arrived at the Imam Khomeini International Airport on Friday morning, Tasnim News Agency.
Spokesman for the Food and Drug Administration of Iran Kianoush Jahanpour had announced earlier that great coordination has been made with Japan, in view of the beginning of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, to receive the vaccines.
He added COVID-19 vaccine imports can fulfill the country’s needs before homegrown vaccines are supplied sufficiently.
Earlier in July, the Japanese government announced that approximately 11 million doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine manufactured in Japan would be supplied to several countries through the COVID-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) program.
The Japanese officials said 2.9 million doses of the vaccine would be delivered to Iran.
This donation comes in light of the friendship between Japan and Iran and based on the current situation regarding the COVID-19 infections and deaths in Iran, they said.
In April, Iran received the first batch of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine with support of UNICEF procurement channel through the COVAX program, which was produced by SK-Bio Institute of South Korea. The consignment contained 700,800 doses.
In addition to relying on imports, Iran has developed a number of COVID-19 jabs, including a vaccine jointly produced with Cuba, known as Soberana 02.
The vaccine is a joint product of Cuba’s Instituto Finlay de Vacunas (IFV) and Pasteur Institute of Iran.
In a joint press conference attended by the presidents of the Iranian and Cuban institutes in Tehran on Thursday, it was announced that 120,000 doses of the vaccine have been handed over to the Iranian Health Ministry.
In an address to the conference, IFV’s Director General Vicente Vérez Bencomo said his institute has developed numerous vaccines over the past 30 years.
He added the jab has been developed in an effort to prevent the contraction and transmission of the disease, noting that the results of the vaccine’s clinical trials show that the it is safe and effective.
Vérez Bencomo said after two doses, the jab indicated a 65 percent effectiveness, which was further increased to 91.2 percent following the administration of the booster dose.
Commenting on the vaccine, the president of the Pasteur Institute of Iran, Alireza Biglari, said plans are underway to submit the documents of the jab to the World Health Organization following the gathering of sufficient data.
He noted that the installation of the jab’s industrial production line will begin in September, expressing hope that in a month, it would become operational with a capacity of three million doses.
Speaking at a meeting with Vérez Bencomo on Sunday, Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said Soberana 02 can become one of the world’s most successful jabs.
Iran’s Health Ministry announced in a statement on Friday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 270 and 24,715, respectively, in the past 24 hours.
According to the statement, the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 stand at 90,344 and 3,851,162, respectively.
It added that 5,384 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 2,856 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 3,348,363 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
It also announced that 25,857,430 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country, and 12,018,648 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered.
The Health Ministry said 285 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 110 are in the orange zone (high-risk).
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 53 and zero, respectively, according to the ministry.
The country has been grappling with a fifth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic since a few weeks ago, mainly sparked by the spread of the Indian coronavirus variant, known as Delta.
Tehran Grand Bazaar and banks as well as all public and private organizations and offices in the Iranian capital were closed for six days, during July 20-25, in an effort to curb the pandemic in the province.
The same closures and COVID restrictions were enforced in the northern province of Alborz, neighboring Tehran.