EghtesadOnline: Iran started testing its locally developed Covid-19 vaccine in a ceremony on Tuesday, injecting three volunteers in phase one human trials.
The first shots of the vaccine, dubbed COV Iran Barakat, were administered to three volunteers in a ceremony attended by Health Minister Saeed Namaki and Vice President for Science and Technology Sorena Sattari, IRNA reported.
The vaccine is manufactured by Shifa Pharmed, a subsidiary of the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO).
“This is an unparalleled moment that will make history,” EIKO’s Chairman Mohammad Mokhber said.
The first volunteer to receive the injection was Tayebeh Mokhber, the head of EIKO’s daughter, in an attempt to boost confidence in the domestic vaccine.
Tayebeh said, “I’m happy, and not just because I’m the first person to receive the injection. I hope the results help safeguard people’s health.”
During the first phase, 56 volunteers were injected with two shots of COV Iran Barakat two weeks apart. The results of the study will be announced in 28 days.
According to Mokhber, within three weeks, Iran will be able to produce 1.5 million doses of the vaccine per month.
“With the equipment that we’ll procure, we’ll be able to manufacture 12 million shots per month,” he said. “If we reach that point, we will no longer have a vaccine problem.”
Human trials for at least one other domestic vaccine will begin shortly, spokesman of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, Kianoush Jahanpour, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“COV Iran is an inactivated vaccine, composed of dead or weakened coronaviruses,” Jahanpour explained about the trials launched on Tuesday.
Sattari pointed out that currently six knowledge-based firms are working to develop Covid-19 vaccines.
Iran has complained that US sanctions are preventing it from purchasing vaccines against the contagion from other countries.
“Until now, no foreign vaccine has received the regulatory approval of Iran’s FDA,” Jahanpour said, adding that any vaccine imported into the country will have to await the FDA approval before mass inoculation can begin.
The Health Ministry recorded 6,108 confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus on Tuesday, pushing the national tally past 1.212 million, the spokeswoman for the ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.
“The death toll rose by 132 fatalities to 54,964,” the health official added.
Over 969,000 have survived the respiratory illness and 5,120 are hospitalized in intensive care units.
Lari said Iran has administered more than 7.5 million diagnostic tests in the past 10 months.
Some 81.7 million have contracted the infectious disease and the death toll rose to 1.78 million.