Rouhani: Iran Trying to Start Vaccination by Late March
TEHRAN (FNA)- President Hassan Rouhani said his government is doing its best to start mass vaccination before the current Iranian year ends (March 20, 2021), and urged the nation to continue strict observation of health protocols.
"The Iranian government will spare no efforts to start vaccination by the end of the current Iranian calendar year," President Rouhani said on Saturday.
He, meantime, pointed out that Iran's joint vaccine with a foreign country called 'Pastour' will be ready by next year.
"If health protocols are not implemented, the country may run the risk of another peak in COVID-19 cases," President Rouhani added while pointed to concern by Iranian Health Minister Masoud Namaki over the possible emergence of the 4th phase of COVID-19 in Iran.
He also vowed for providing other vaccines bought from COVAX by late March.
In relevant remarks on December 29, Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the country has a century of experience and know-how in the production of vaccines, and announced that the human trial of the COVID-19 vaccine has started with the first injection on Tuesday of the domestic vaccine.
"We have been producing vaccines in the country for a hundred years. Pasteur Institute of Iran was set up in 1920 and Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute was founded in 1924," Namaki said on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of the vaccine and the first phase of the clinical trial of Iranian-made COVID-19 vaccine on 56 volunteers.
In relevant remarks on Friday, Spokesman of the Iran Food and Drug Administration (IFDA), Kianoush Jahanpour, said that the Iranian Health Ministry has started the test and trial of COVID-19 vaccine in cooperation with Cuba in yet another plan for developing a vaccine as an alternative for purchasing the vaccine from abroad.
Jahanpour pointed out that cooperation with Cuba is one of Tehran's priorities after such other alternatives as purchasing from a foreign country and participation in the World Health Organization’s COVAX program.
He said that the test and trial of the COVID-19 vaccine are underway in three phases.
"Phase one of the human clinical trials of the coronavirus vaccine has been successfully performed in Cuba, the second phase of the human clinical trial is currently being conducted under the supervision of the Pasteur Institute of Iran in Cuba, and providing the success of the second phase, phase three of the human-based study — as announced by the head of the Pasteur Institute of Iran — will be done in Iran in the coming months," Jahanpour added.
"Due to our record in vaccine production, we are trying to offer new vaccines with the help of the Science and Technology Vice-Presidency, knowledge-based companies, the Pasteur Institute of Iran, the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute and the private sector," the minister noted.
"We were the first producer of vaccines in Asia and we have sent vaccines to many countries in the world," he added.
"We have developed various platforms for coronavirus, including the vaccine, the first human phase of which was performed today," Namaki said, and added, "Another platform is also underway at Razi Institute, and its animal tests are underway and will soon receive a human testing license."
"We hope that we will soon see the start of the second human trial phase of this national vaccine and then the third phase to be followed by its mass production," he continued.
The Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam (Khomeini) announced the start of the first phase of the clinical trial of the Iranian-made COVID-19 vaccine on 56 volunteers in Tehran on December 29.
The COVID-19 vaccine produced by EIKO has been licensed by the Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.