0259 GMT November 29, 2021
Iran’s COVID-19 vaccination, which is being conducted with the assistance of the country’s Basij voluntary force and people, is unique worldwide, said the health minister.
Speaking in an address to a ceremony on the Basij Week (November 20-26) marked annually to commemorate the Iranian voluntary forces, Bahram Einollahi added Iran has so far imported and produced 150 million and 20 million doses of vaccines, respectively, IRNA reported.
Members of the Basij force as well as different strata of the society, particularly university students, who volunteered to cooperate, have thus far contributed to the widespread coverage of the process.
The minister stressed that Iran is not faced with any COVID jab shortage, noting that on the 100th day of the incumbent administration’s term in office, the number of administered vaccine doses surpassed 100 million.
He added at present, 84 percent of the country’s target groups have received their first dose, putting at 68 percent those who have been given the second one.
Einollahi said prior to the beginning of the tenure of the new administration under President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, solely six million doses of vaccines had been administered in the country, as a consequence of which 50,000 infected cases were identified on a daily basis and deaths stood at 700 per day during the fifth wave of the pandemic, which was a national disaster.
He noted that however, the Raeisi administration immediately managed to import five million doses of jabs in up to 48 hours.
According to a Tuesday statement by the Health Ministry, 103,160,452 doses of COVID jabs have so far been administered in Iran, of which 56,944,774 have been given to people as the first dose, and 45,382,073 as the second dose.
In addition, 833,605 have received their third dose. Over 411,418 doses were administered during Monday to Tuesday.
Iran’s public vaccination has gained greater momentum over the past few months on the back of a rise in imports and domestic production. The country has produced a number of COVID jabs domestically and received several COVID-19 vaccine batches from Russia (Sputnik V), China (Sinopharm), Japan (AstraZeneca) and India (COVAXIN).
Among the homegrown vaccines are Razi Cov Pars (Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute), Fakhra (Defense Ministry), COVIran Barekat (Barakat Foundation), Soberana 2 – or PastoCoVac (Cuba’s Instituto Finlay de Vacunas and Iran’s Pasteur Institute) – and Noura (the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps).
On Tuesday, Payam Tabresi, a member of Iran’s national scientific COVID-19 committee, said the first and second phases of the clinical trial studies of COVIran Barekat on subjects aged between 12 and 18 have begun.
He added the process, the first phase of which involves giving the vaccine to 60 people, started following the issuance of the permit by the Food and Drug Administration of Iran.
Tabresi put at 440 the number of the subjects in the second phase.
According to the Health Ministry’s Tuesday statement, the country’s daily COVID-19 deaths and infections reached 132 and 5,144, respectively.
It added that the total COVID-19 death toll and cases since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 stand at 129,177 and 6,088,009, respectively.
Since the outbreak, Iran has grappled with five waves of COVID-19 infections, one greater and deadlier than another.
Until a few weeks ago, the country was grappling with a fifth wave of COVID-19 infections, seeing record high daily deaths and cases of over 700 and 40,000, respectively. Although the fifth wave has subsided thanks to the increased pace of the public vaccination process, authorities constantly warn against the start of a new wave, calling for full compliance with the health protocols.