1229 GMT December 09, 2022
Iranian President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi called on the Health Ministry to begin exports of COVID-19 vaccines after identifying target markets.
Making the remarks in an address to Saturday meeting of the National Task Force for Fighting the Coronavirus, Raeisi stressed that prior to initiating the overseas sales of COVID jabs, it must be ensured that domestic needs are met properly, president.ir reported.
The president also urged the Health Ministry to donate vaccines to countries incapable of purchasing them.
Iran has developed a number of COVID-19 vaccines including 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).
A few days ago, it was announced that Iranian experts at Barakat Foundation have managed to develop a new COVID-19 vaccine highly effective against the Omicron variant.
Commenting on the imminent public holidays, feasts and ceremonies, including Norouz celebrations — marking the arrival of the new Iranian year — in the country, Raeisi said people can take part in the events providing that they observe the health protocols.
He added as per a decision by the anti-COVID task force, participation in the ceremonies and events will require submission of the certificate of having received a third dose of the COVID-19 vaccine or a negative PCR test result.
The president stressed that convincing the people to receive their third dose of the jab is a main policy of the anti-COVID task force, calling on the related authorities to elaborate on the effectiveness of the third shot in protecting the public health.
Pointing to the move by Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei to have the third dose, Raeisi said the Leader can be used as a highly effective example to encourage the people.
The Health Ministry announced in a statement on Saturday that the country’s daily COVID-19 fatalities and infections stood at 154 and 4,089, respectively.
It said the total COVID-19 deaths and infections since the beginning of the outbreak in the country in late February 2020 stand at 137,747 and 7,084,306, respectively.
It added 3,983 people are in critical condition, and 912 new patients have been hospitalized.
According to the statement, so far, 6,719,004 people have either recovered or been discharged from hospitals, and 47,647,542 diagnostic tests have been carried out in the country.
By Saturday, 63,077,531 Iranians had received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, including 55,685,708, who had taken two jabs, and 23,773,941 who had received the third, booster shot, bringing the total number of administered doses to 142,537,180.
On December 19, Iran reported its first case of the COVID-19 Omicron variant. The spread of the new strain sparked the sixth wave of infections in the country, as it soon became the prevailing variant.
Top Iranian officials and health authorities say the country is past the peak of the sixth wave’s deaths and infections.
Last week, Health Minister Bahram Einollahi announced the news and one day later, Raeisi confirmed it.