Health Minister: Iran to Supply Coronavirus Vaccines from Different Sources
TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Tuesday that the country will supply coronavirus vaccines from five foreign sources, in addition to efforts to produce home-made vaccines.
Namaki made the remarks at the opening ceremony of nationwide vaccination program at Imam Khomeini Hospital Hall on Tuesday.
He said that Iran insisted from the very beginning that it imports a vaccine only if it has already undertaken the third phase of its human trial and if it has been used not only in the producing country, but also in several other reputable countries.
In addition to the Russian-developed vaccine, Sputnik V, four other renowned vaccines, including the Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccines, China's Sinopharm vaccine, two other vaccines in the framework of an agreement with COVAX, and other contracts are on the way, Namaki said.
The top priority groups of people for vaccination are doctors and nurses working at intensive care units of hospitals, the minister said.
Namaki added that Iran has chosen and imported one of the least harmful and less dangerous vaccines after assessing the most credible vaccines available.
Iran has bought some 16.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX for vaccination of 8.4 million people, earlier he said, however noting that more vaccines are still needed to be imported.
Iran took delivery of the first batch of Sputnik-V vaccines from Russia last Thursday.
Iran started nationwide COVID-19 vaccination on Tuesday using the Sputnik V vaccine.
The public vaccination for coronavirus began in Iran in a ceremony held at Imam Khomeini Hospital of Tehran and 634 hospitals all over the country.
The first person to get the jabs was Parsa Namaki, the son of Saeed Namaki.
Priorities for this phase of vaccination are health workers at ICU sections of hospitals.
According to the health ministry officials, some 1.3 million Iranians will be vaccinated against the virus by the end of the current year (March 20). The next group that will receive the jabs are vulnerable and elderly people.
Namaki said on Sunday that his country will in the near future produce the best vaccines in the world, including the coronavirus vaccine.
“Iran will turn into an important vaccine production hub in the world in the next few months. We will produce the best vaccines in the world in the very near future,” Namaki said, addressing a ceremony to unveil the country’ first injectable-inhaled vaccine of Covid-19 recombinant protein produced at Razi institute.
He underlined Iran’s preparedness to produce new recombonent vaccines.