EghtesadOnline: Some 100,000 shots of the Covid-19 vaccine jointly produced by Iran and Cuba were delivered to Tehran on Thursday to begin its third phase of human trials.
“The 100,000 jabs will be used in a joint human testing effort … carried out simultaneously in Iran, Cuba and Mexico,” Kianoush Jahanpour, spokesman of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, said in a tweet on Thursday.
Developed by Pasteur Institute of Iran and Cuba’s Finaly Institute, the vaccine, dubbed Soberana 02, translates from Spanish as “Sovereign” and it is considered the most promising vaccine candidate out of the four Cuba is currently manufacturing.
The jabs are to be tested on 50,000 Iranians until late March. If the trials conclude successfully, the vaccine could become available in global markets by April.
“On Wednesday, another shipment of coronavirus vaccines containing 125,000 doses purchased from India’s Bharat Biotech arrived into the country,” Jahanpour said.
“Counting this batch, Iran has received 695,000 shots of coronavirus vaccines so far.”
This is the fifth shipment of vaccines delivered to Iran, after three batches of Russia’s Sputnik V and China’s donation of 250,000 jabs of its homegrown Sinopharm.
Iran launched its mass inoculation program one month ago and it is currently vaccinating frontline health workers, its elderly population and veterans as top priority groups.
The worst-hit Middle Eastern country is planning to vaccinate over 50 million before the end of 2021 to reach herd immunity against the contagion.
During the past 10 days, some 347 individuals contracted the deadly virus and three to four died from it every hour, data gathered by the Health Ministry showed.
Iran recorded roughly 8,000 newly identified coronavirus infections on Friday, taking the tally of cases to 1.731 million, spokeswoman of the Health Ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said.
The health official said over the past 24 hours, 53 Covid-19 patients lost their lives, bringing the national death toll to 61,069.
“Over 1.47 million have recovered from the infectious disease and some 3,800 remain in critical condition and are hospitalized in ICU units,” Lari said.
“Iran has administered more than 11.58 million diagnostic tests since the start of the epidemic.”
Nations across the world have registered a total of 119.2 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus and 2.64 million fatalities.