EghtesadOnline: President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday outlined the government’s four-phase Covid-19 vaccination plan that promises to give 60 million Iranians access to the vaccine in order of priority, based on the extent of exposure and vulnerability to the infectious disease.
“Some 1.3 million will be vaccinated in the first phase of the program,” Rouhani added, noting that healthcare personnel, high-risk groups in nursing homes and injured war veterans are first priorities.
“The second stage of the plan – the mass inoculation of 12 million – will prioritize the elderly and those suffering from preexisting health conditions,” he said.
“The third and fourth phases will innoculate a total of 19 million,” the president said, adding that his government is working hard to launch its mass vaccination program as soon as possible.
Despite Iran’s efforts to domestically develop a Covid-19 vaccine, Rouhani reassured the public that they will purchase and import vaccines from “reliable” sources.
On Friday, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei banned the government from buying coronavirus vaccines manufactured by the United States and the United Kingdom, calling the two nations “completely untrustworthy”.
The first shipment of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in Iran through COVAX, a global initiative attempting to ensure equitable access to vaccines for low-income countries.
The president said, “It took us 40 days … to transfer funds for the purchase of coronavirus vaccine via COVAX, only one of the many clear examples of crimes committed by the US against Iran.”
Low-Risk ‘Blue’ Regions
During the meeting of the National Coronavirus Headquarters on Saturday, Rouhani announced the addition of color-code “blue” to previous categories red, orange and yellow, to signify regions with low-risk coronavirus transmission rates.
“Yellow regions with two per 100,000 confirmed Covid-19 cases will be coded as blue. All businesses can resume operations in these zones,” he said.
According to the taskforce’s spokesman, Alireza Raeisi, currently seven cities across the country have been coded red, 30 orange, 219 yellow and 192 blue.
“The 9 p.m. to 4 a.m. nightly curfew will remain in place in all zones, but travel restrictions to and from blue and yellow regions have been lifted,” he said.
Tehran Province was moved to category yellow on Saturday, effectively lifting travel restrictions to and from the province.
Tehran Governor-General Mohsen Anoushirvani Bandpey, however, said that travel to northern provinces with personal cars is still banned.
“Deaths of a further 82 patients by the coronavirus took the national toll to 56,100,” the spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.
“Some 5,900 confirmed Covid-19 patients were identified within 24 hours and 456 were admitted to hospitals. The number of infections reached 1.28 million.”
Lari said Iran has carried out 8.1 million PCR tests since the start of the outbreak.
“Over 1.06 million have recovered from the infectious disease and 4,686 are in critical condition,” she added.
Covid-19 infections worldwide have soared to 89.5 million on Saturday and the death toll stood at 1.92 million.