EghtesadOnline: With the arrival of two new Covid-19 vaccine shipments, the total import volume has exceeded 158 million doses since January 20, 2021, says the spokesman of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“A total of 1.41 million doses of AstraZeneca donated by Germany arrived at the Imam Khomeini International Airport by a Lufthansa flight,” Rouhollah Latifi was also quoted as saying by IRNA on March 14.
Another shipment containing 777,900 doses of AstraZeneca also donated by Germany was due to arrive on Monday night, he added.
According to the official, with the latest shipments, the total volume of imported AstraZeneca vaccines, excluding returned shipments, has hit 18.84 million doses.
Last month, Iran returned 820,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines donated by Poland because they were manufactured in the United States.
Mohammad Hashemi, a Health Ministry official, was quoted as saying that Poland donated about a million doses of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine to Iran.
“But when the vaccines arrived in Iran, we realized that 820,000 doses imported from Poland were from the United States,” he said.
“After coordination with the Polish ambassador to Iran, it was decided to return the vaccines.”
Iran’s Health Minister Bahram Einollahi wrote in a letter to the head of the customs authority that despite assurances by Poland, the jabs turned out to be from an “unauthorized source”.
He said Polish suppliers have promised to replace the vaccines with ones from an authorized source and take back the previous consignment.
Iran has mainly relied on Sinopharm, the state-backed Chinese vaccine, but offers citizens a smorgasbord of other shots to choose from – Oxford-AstraZeneca, Russia’s Sputnik V, Indian firm Bharat’s Covaxin and its homegrown COVIran Barekat shot.
The Red Crescent Society of Iran is the major importer of the jabs.
Monthly Covid-19 vaccine imports set a record after more than 60 million doses entered Iran in the seventh month of the current fiscal year (Sept. 23-Oct. 22).
The total value of all Covid-19 vaccines imported to Iran from Feb. 3 to Sept. 12 stood at $421 million, according to the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
China, Russia, Japan, the Netherlands, South Korea, Italy, China, India, Austria, Poland, Greece and Germany are the main vaccine exporters to Iran.
Some of the imported vaccines have been donated to Iran.
IRICA says each Sinopharm vaccine made in China costs $9.2, AstraZeneca made in China $4, AstraZeneca made in Japan $4, COVAX made in Italy $4, Sputnik V made in Russia $10, AstraZeneca made in Russia $6.5, COVAX made in South Korea $4 and AstraZeneca made in Austria $4 and Bharat (COVAXIN) made in India $14.5.