0226 GMT August 10, 2022
A homegrown COVID-19 jab dubbed Noura will be available in the domestic market within one month, said the Iranian health minister.
In an address to reporters in a Sunday ceremony to begin the third clinical trial phase of the vaccine, developed by the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC), in Tehran, Dr. Bahram Einollahi added modern (recombinant DNA) technology has been employed in the production of the jab, which makes it different from the previously manufactured ones, IRNA reported.
The ceremony was also attended by IRGC’s Chief Commander Major General Hossein Salami.
Einollahi noted that the production of the jab has been a new experience for the country, describing Noura as one of the world’s best-known vaccines.
The minister added that so far, four COVID-19 vaccines have been developed in Iran, and Noura is the fifth one.
In view of the production of homemade COVID vaccines on different platforms, the country is expected to become self-sufficient in the field in the near future, Einollahi said.
He noted that many Iranian officials, including cabinet ministers, have received the domestic COVID vaccines, noting that a quintessential example was Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, who was given COVIran Barekat jab produced by the Barakat Foundation.
The health minister gave the assurance that the incumbent administration will continue backing producers of homegrown vaccines as it is among the decisions made by the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus.
He put at 30 million the number of the domestic vaccine doses supplied to the market.
Dismissing worries about a lack of COVID jabs in the country, the minister said 180 million doses have so far been imported.
Einollahi said Iranian COVID vaccines are awaiting validation by the World Health Organization.
He noted that over 120 million doses of COVID jabs have so far been administered in the country, saying of this figure, more than a million doses have been given to people as the third dose.
Prior to the beginning of the incumbent administration’s term in office under President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, only close to five million doses of vaccines had been administered, Einollahi added.
Speaking on the sidelines of the same ceremony, Major General Salami said Noura is among the world’s advanced COVID-19 vaccines.
He added that he, himself, has received the jab as the third dose, noting, “We have to accelerate the country’s progress in all fields through redoubled efforts.”
To this end, the IRGC chief said, scientific, industrial and technological achievements are of importance.
He noted that he had earlier received COVIran Barekat as his first and second doses.
Major General Salami said the country is making great progress in different medical, defense, industrial, economic, cultural and scientific fields.
Iran has so far imported 86 batches (over 150 million doses) of COVID-19 jabs and, in addition to Noura and COVIran Barekat, has produced a number of other vaccines including Fakhra (Defense Ministry), Razi Cov Pars (Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute), and Soberana 2 – or PastoCoVac (Cuba’s Instituto Finlay de Vacunas and Iran’s Pasteur Institute).
The Iranian Health Ministry announced in a Sunday statement that the total number of administered vaccine doses in the country stands at 120,003,437, of which 59,869,552 have been given to people as the first dose, and 52,042,721 as the second dose.
In addition, 8,091,164 people have received their third dose. Between Saturday and Sunday, 317,196 doses were administered.
The Sunday statement by the Health Ministry put the country’s daily COVID-19 fatalities and cases in the past 24 hours at 41 and 1,510, respectively.
The total COVID-19 death toll and cases since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 stand at 131,680 and 6,196,913.
It said 2,658 patients are in critical condition, and 294 new ones have been hospitalized.
According to the statement, 6,040,897 people have so far either recovered from the disease or have been discharged from hospitals, and 42,180,249 diagnostic tests have been carried out in the country.
Since the outbreak, Iran has grappled with five waves of COVID-19 infections, with the last one being the greatest and deadliest of all and troubling the country until a few weeks ago. Sparked mainly due to the spread of the Delta variant, the wave caused the country to see record high daily deaths and cases of over 700 and 40,000, respectively.
The wave has subsided in the country thanks to the greater pace of the public vaccination on the back of the rise in imports and domestic production of COVID-19 jabs since the beginning of the Raeisi administration’s term in office in August.
On Sunday, the Iranian Health Ministry’s public relations manager, Mohammad Hashemi, tweeted that the number of confirmed Omicron cases in the country has reached 159.
He listed the provinces with identified cases as Tehran (28), Bushehr (three), Hormuzgan (45), Khorasan Razavi (35), Mazandaran (13), Isfahan (nine), Sistan and Baluchestan (six), Yazd (eight), East Azarbaijan (three), Fars (two), Qom (three), Markazi (one), Alborz (one), West Azarbaijan (one) and Chaharmahal and Bakhtiari (one).
Iran on December 19 said the first definite case of infection with the Omicron variant of the coronavirus was detected in the country and two suspicious patients were also identified.
This was announced by the head of the Health Ministry’s Center for Communicable Diseases Control and Prevention.
Speaking in a televised interview, Mohammad Mehdi Gouya added the positive case is an Iranian passenger returning to the country from a regional state, the UAE, where the new variant has spread.