EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani on Sunday said he is hopeful that the first shipment of Covid-19 vaccine will arrive in Iran over the next few weeks.
“The government hopes to launch its mass inoculation program over the next weeks after purchasing vaccines from various companies,” Rouhani was quoted as saying by president.ir.
The president noted that health personnel and the elderly will be prioritized to receive vaccination.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki also said high-risk groups will be the first to receive the injections.
“When the vaccine arrives, we will inform the public and invite high-risk groups to be the first to be vaccinated against Covid-19,” he added.
Namaki announced the launch of the third phase of human trials for a vaccine Iran is jointly producing with Cuba.
“We will begin the third phase of human trials by late January under the supervision of Pasteur Institute of Iran,” he said, adding that he is optimistic about using a locally-produced vaccine by the end of spring.
Iran registered 5,960 fresh cases of the coronavirus on Sunday, pushing the tally of infections past 1.24 million, the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, was quoted as saying by ISNA.
“Deaths of a further 102 patients took the national toll to 55,540,” the health official said.
Night Curfew Extended
Deputy Health Minister Alireza Raeisi said the government will most likely continue to impose the nightly curfew until the end of the year.
“During winter, doors and windows are closed due to cold weather, hence there is no proper ventilation. Home gatherings increase virus transmission and this restriction can reduce family gatherings,” he said.
The government began to enforce a curfew from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. in cities on red alert over 40 days ago and later extended the restrictive measure to most cities across the country.
Raeisi pointed out that Iran has transferred $52 million to COVAX to receive 15.8 million vaccine doses and he is hoping the shots will be shipped before the end of the year.
“The vaccine that will arrive in the country will definitely cost less than $10,” he added.
COVAX is a global initiative that attempts to ensure equitable access to Covid-19 vaccines for all nations.
Lari said Iran has carried out 7.77 million diagnostic tests since the start of the pandemic in February 2020.
“Over 1.013 million have recovered from the contagion and 4,950 are in critical conditions,” she said.
More than 85 million have contracted the infectious disease and 1.84 million have lost their lives to it.