0734 GMT September 18, 2021
A comparison between Iran and seven European countries with average weekly COVID-19 vaccinations of over one million doses shows that the Islamic Republic ranks third following Germany and France in terms of the highest weekly inoculation numbers, outdoing the likes of the UK, Spain and Italy.
According to a recent report, Germany has, on average, administered 6,075,000 doses per week, and 870,000 doses of COVID-19 jabs per day since the beginning of the public inoculation process in the country, to top the ranking, behdasht.gov.ir wrote.
Coming next in the ranking is France, with average of 4,777,000 doses per week, and 680,000 doses per day.
With average weekly and daily vaccinations of 4,744,000 doses and 680,000 doses, Iran overtakes the UK (4,153,000 doses weekly, 593,000 doses daily) Spain (3,976,000 doses weekly, 570,000 doses daily), Italy (3,857,000 doses weekly, 550,000 doses daily) and Poland (2,265,000 doses weekly and 323,000 doses daily).
Iran’s public vaccination process has gained greater momentum over the past few weeks in view of the rise in imports and domestic production, setting new daily records.
The country has received several COVID-19 vaccine batches from Russia (Sputnik V), China (Sinopharm), Japan (AstraZeneca) and India (COVAXIN), and has also developed a number of COVID jabs domestically, including one dubbed COVIran Barekat (Barakat Foundation), a jab named Soberana 2, or PastoCoVac (Cuba’s Instituto Finlay de Vacunas and Iran’s Pasteur Institute) and a vaccine known as Fakhra (Defense Ministry).
The other two COVID jabs being developed in the country are Noura (the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps) and Razi Cov Pars (Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute).
According to figures by the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration, Sinopharm accounts for the biggest share (37,529,596 doses) of the country’s jab purchases.
Statistics by the Iranian Health Ministry show that 1,120,067 doses of COVID-19 jabs were administered in the country in the 24-hour period to Sunday, which is another daily inoculation record.
According to the ministry, 35,047,143 doses of COVID-19 jabs have so far been administered in the country. In addition, 22,943,141 people in the country have received their first dose of the jab; while 12,104,002 individuals have been given two doses.
Second production line
On Saturday, Hassan Jalili, the director of the research team and CEO of Shifapharmed Company, said the second industrial phase of COVIran Barekat vaccine started last week following the launch of another production line.
“In the coming days, the first consignment produced on this line by the scientists of the Barakat Pharmaceutical Group will be secured, and the second phase will be officially operational,” he added.
The new line can produce between six and eight million doses of the coronavirus vaccine a month, creating a new capacity in Iran's vaccination program, Jalili said.
So far, he added, about 10 million doses of the COVIran Barekat vaccine have been manufactured on the first line, of which 5.2 million doses have been delivered to the Health Ministry after quality control tests.
The remaining vaccines will be gradually delivered to the ministry for inoculation at public vaccination centers, Jalili noted.
He also said the installation of machinery and equipment for the third production line of the plant is already underway.
“In the coming weeks, we will announce good news about the launch of the third phase in production of the COVIran Barekat vaccine and the capacity to produce more than 20 million doses per month.”
COVIran Barekat was the first domestically developed vaccine to be granted emergency use authorization.
Fakhra, the domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine which has received authorization for emergency use, has completed the third phase of the clinical trial, its project manager Ahmad Karimi said on Saturday.
He said Fakhra is “among the vaccines that are completely safe” as it has shown no serious side effects in its first and second human trial phases.
“The vaccine provided adequate immunogenicity in the human subjects," Karimi noted, adding it produced enough antibodies to neutralize the new coronavirus.
Currently, he said, some 500,000 doses of the Fakhra vaccine are ready for use and about three million doses are going through the production process.
Iran’s Health Ministry announced in a statement on Sunday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 487 and 20,219, respectively, in the past 24 hours.
The statement added the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 stand at 114,311 and 5,295,786, respectively.
It added that 7,278 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 2,747 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 4,568,236 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
The statement added 30,227,916 coronavirus diagnostic tests have so far been carried out in the country.
The Health Ministry said 168 cities in the country are coded red (very high-risk), while 209 are in the orange zone (high-risk).
The number of the country’s yellow (medium-risk) cities is 71, according to the ministry.
Iran 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, seeing a resurgence in deaths and infections.
To curb the pandemic, the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus has imposed numerous restrictions and mandated so far a number of nationwide closures.
Among the restrictions have been the prohibitions of nocturnal intracity travel.
On Sunday, however, the spokesman for the anti-coronavirus task force Alireza Raeisi said the ban has been lifted.
He, nevertheless, warned people against any laxity in observing the health protocols and resumption of unnecessary travel.
The decision, Raeisi added, has been made in light of the establishment of 24-hour public vaccination centers across the country.