News ID: 317231
Published: 0323 GMT October 19, 2021

Minister: Western states amazed at Iran’s COVID-19 vaccination pace

Minister: Western states amazed at Iran’s COVID-19 vaccination pace
Iran’s Health Minister Bahram Einollahi talks to reporters on the sidelines of a ceremony in Tehran on October 19, 2021.

National Desk

Iran’s pace of public vaccination against COVID-19 has completely surprised Western countries, said the health minister.

Bahram Einollahi made the remark on Tuesday in an address to the first martyrdom anniversary of Iranian physician Dr. Mohammad Zare Joshaqani, who lost his life last year while fighting the coronavirus, IRNA reported.

He said the number of the administered doses in the country has surpassed 75 million, noting that solely during the past seven days, 8.4 million doses of the jabs, equal to the UAE’s entire population and twice as large as those of Kuwait and Qatar, were given to people in Iran.

He added the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country since late February 2020 has led to a human catastrophe as over 123,000 people in the country have lost their lives to the disease, noting that this comes as during the eight-year (1980-88) Iraqi-imposed war on Iran 230,000 were martyred.

Praising the domestic medical staff’s efforts in the fight against the pandemic, the minister said during the fifth wave, which swept the country during the summer – mainly sparked by the Delta variant of the virus, a large number of patients were referred to Iranian medical centers, of whom none were deprived of health and treatment services.

He added that during the wave, the country witnessed record daily deaths of over 700 on some days, which were indicative of the large number of infections and hospitalizations.

Commenting on the possibility of a sixth wave in the country, the minister said, “We are fully prepared to curb it. Iran has imported 120 million doses of COVID vaccines. The figure will reach 180 million in the coming weeks.”

He added, “We are concerned about the beginning of the sixth wave, which will certainly sweep the country,” saying that Iranian hospitals are well equipped for a potential surge in infections.

Iran’s public vaccination has gained greater momentum over the past few months on the back of the rise in imports and domestic production of vaccines.

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.

According to a statement by the Health Ministry on Tuesday, 75,380,317 doses of COVID-19 jabs have so far been administered in the country, of which 1,266,637 were given to people during the past 24-hours.

It added 49,374,208 people have been given the first dose and 26,006,109 have received their second one.


Deaths down


According to the ministry’s Tuesday statement, the country’s daily COVID deaths declined to 167 during the past 24 hours; whereas they stood at 181 during the preceding 24-hour period.

The ministry put at 13,308 daily infections in the past 24 hours.

It said the total COVID-19 death toll and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country stand at 124,423 and 5,809,967, respectively.



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