EghtesadOnline: Iran aims to immunize 1.3 million people against Covid-19, roughly 1.6% of its population, before the start of the Iranian New Year on March 21, Deputy Health Minister Iraj Harirchi announced on Sunday.
“By the end of the year, the first priority group consisting of 1.3 million will be vaccinated,” Harirchi was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Iran has so far imported 220,000 doses of Russian-developed Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V and begun the inoculation of frontline health workers.
It is also awaiting 4.2 million shots of AstraZeneca purchased through COVAX, a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization attempting to secure fair access to coronavirus vaccines for low-income countries.
The first phase of human trials for the country’s locally-manufactured Covid-19 vaccine concluded on Sunday, with preliminary results showing 90% effectiveness.
Hamed Hosseini, the head of clinical trials for Cov Iran Barkat, said, “We’ll take the final blood tests from volunteers on March 4 and announce the final results.”
Made by scientists at the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, Iran will be capable of producing 10 million vaccine doses a month by summer if human testing concludes successfully.
Corona Outpatients Rise in Tehran
Tehran’s Governor General Anoushirvan Mohseni Bandpey said on Sunday that the number of coronavirus outpatients visiting hospitals across the province has been on the rise since last week.
“Since Tehran is a ‘yellow’ zone, government offices should facilitate telecommuting for one-third of employees,” Bandpey added.
All 11 cities on red alert in Iran are located in the western province of Khuzestan, where the government refused to agree to local authorities’ request for a two-week full lockdown of the province to prevent the spread of the British strain of the coronavirus, a highly contagious, deadlier variant of the original virus.
Over 7,900 contracted Covid-19 within 24 hours, bringing the national tally of cases to 1.574 million, spokeswoman for the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.
She said, “Over the past 24 hours, 79 coronavirus patients lost their lives, taking the total death toll to 59,483.”
Lari added that 1.34 million have recovered from the respiratory illness and some 3,690 are hospitalized in ICU units.
“Iran has carried out more than 10.444 million diagnostic tests since the start of the pandemic,” she said.
Over 111.7 million have so far tested positive for the coronavirus worldwide and at least 2.47 million have died from the viral infection.