The Food and Drug Administration of Iran (IFDA) gave emergency authorization on Thursday to two single-dose foreign vaccines for COVID-19, namely Sputnik Light and Johnson & Johnson.
According to IFDA Chairman Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, the organization’s scientific committee has granted permission for the emergency use of Sputnik Light vaccine in the country.
Dismissing reports that the Russian-made Sputnik Light is the only single-dose coronavirus vaccine authorized by Iran, the official said, IFDA has also permitted another single-dose vaccine, namely the Johnson & Johnson, Tasnim News Agency wrote.
According to the producers of the Sputnik Light, the vaccine has shown efficacy of 79.4 percent.
In Russia, the vaccine has been approved for people above 60.
Iran had already granted emergency use authorization to the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine, Covaxin made by India’s Bharat Biotech, Oxford/AstraZeneca developed by Russia’s R-Pharm Group, and the AstraZeneca-SKBio made in South Korea.
New shipment of vaccines
Earlier on Thursday, five million doses of coronavirus vaccines provided by the Iranian Red Crescent Society (IRCS) have been delivered to the country's Health Ministry at Imam Khomeini International Airport.
Acording to the IRCS Chief Karim Hemmati, the cargo is the third batch which has been provided for the country’s Ministry of Health by the Society
With the arrival of another five-million-dose cargo next week, IRCS Iran has imported over 35 million doses of COVID vaccines during the six past months, said the official.
He added that 70 million doses more will be dispatched to the country within the next two months.
Vaccination of children under 18
Deputy Health Minister of Iran announced on Thursday that vaccination of children and young adults aged six to 18 will start as of two weeks from now, and will be pursued seriously.
According to Dr. Jaafar Sadeq Tabrizi “Iran is in the last phases of importing special vaccines for children, and important step will soon be taken in our country.”
Therefore, schools and high schools will be reopened with a one-month delay, the official said while speaking to reporters in the provincial city of Zanjan, northwest of Iran.
Iran’s Health Ministry announced in a statement on Thursday that the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 453 and 18,021, 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 116,072 and 5,378,408, respectively.
It added that 6,981 COVID-19 patients are in critical condition, and of the newly-detected cases, 2,859 individuals have been hospitalized.
The ministry said 4,682,704 COVID-19 patients have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals.
The statement added 30,672,916 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.