China gives 2.5m doses of free vaccine to Iran
Published: 02:12 PM, 1 March 2021
China has given 2.5 million doses of free vaccine to Iran, the country plagued by the pandemic coronavirus.
The vaccine, manufactured by Sinopharm, a state-owned pharmaceutical company in China, arrived in Iran on Sunday.
“Such actions by the Chinese government are commendable and will remain in the historical memory of the Iranian nation,” said Qianush Jahanpore, a spokesman for Iran’s Food and Drug Administration.
The death toll from the coronavirus in Iran has exceeded 60,000 on the same day that the doses of the vaccine arrived. Besides, the total number of infections rose to more than 1.6 million.
Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Iran earlier this month. With this vaccine, Iran has started the vaccine campaign for the front-line health workers. Sinopharm vaccine is the second vaccine imported into the country.
Dr. Alireza Raisi, a spokesman of Iran’s National Coronavirus Combat Taskforce, said the government hoped to start vaccinating 1.3 million high-risk Iranians from March 20 and complete it within a month.
He added that it would soon be known when Iran would receive 4.2 million doses of Oxford-AstraZeneca under the World Health Organization’s COVAX program. Iranian officials also said that the Bharat Biotech Company of India may import the vaccine.
The first phase of trials of the Iranian-made vaccine COVIran Barakat ended earlier this month. The vaccine team then said “it was 90 percent effective” against coronavirus and also against new strains of the virus found in Britain.
The trial of Iran’s second Covid-19 vaccine, Razi Cov-Pars, began on Sunday. Officials say Iran will build the largest vaccine production site in the Middle East. They hope to produce 10 million doses of the Barakat vaccine every month from the beginning of spring.