Russia sends Covid-19 Vaccines Sputnik to Iran
After some European countries opted to use Sputnik vaccine Russia, Iran also received the vaccine. Last month, the Iranian parliament had pleaded for a ban on Western-produced, and especially US-made vaccines, for political reasons.
The first shipment of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Iran on Thursday.
According to officials 500,000 doses were imported in the first phase, with more to follow in the coming weeks.
Mass vaccination of Iran's population of 83 million is expected to begin at the end of this month or early next month, the Iranian Health Ministry said. Priority will be given to doctors, nurses and the elderly.
Earlier this week, there were still concerns on the part of the Iranian Medical Association about the effectiveness of Sputnik V. But those were dispelled after the Russian vaccine was certified as 91.6-per-cent effective, according to an internationally recognized study.
Nevertheless, scientists in Iran demand that political and ideological criteria should not play a role in the selection of foreign vaccines.
Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki emphasized that he neither thinks nor acts politically in this regard. Therefore, according to Namaki, in addition to Russian, Chinese and Indian vaccines, the Swedish-British vaccine AstraZeneca should also be imported.
At the same time, Iran is also working on its own vaccines, as well as on one with Cuban experts, Soberana 02. Last week, the Ministry of Health certified the domestically produced vaccine Coviran Barekat as highly effective against Covid-19, but this has not yet been confirmed internationally.
Thanks to strict lockdowns since November, the number of dead and infected in Iran has decreased, but between 60 and 70 deaths and over 7,000 new infections are still being registered every day.
Despite the negative impact, especially on the economic and educational systems, the Ministry of Health is against easing the lockdowns.
Since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago, there have been more than 58,000 deaths and more than 1.4 million coronavirus infections in the country.
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