EghtesadOnline: Iran has entered the fourth and final phase of its vaccination campaign as the Health Ministry has lowered vaccine eligibility age to people under the age of 60.
Spokesman for the National Coronavirus Headquarters, Alireza Raeisi, said on Tuesday that 42 million people will get a vaccine at this stage, IRNA reported.
“It means that we roughly need 84-85 million doses,” the health official added.
According to him, Iran will start bringing in five million shots on a weekly basis for the foreseeable future, which will give a boost to the slow vaccine rollout.
He noted, “We’re currently giving out on average 640,000 to 650,000 vaccines a day. We have the capacity to double that number.”
So far, 18.7 million people have received a first dose of a Covid vaccine and 8.7 million have been fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of shots administered to 27.4 million.
Raeisi said that 87% of people over the age of 60 have been immunized against the disease. Some 80 to 90% of those with pre-existing conditions, rare disease or high-risk jobs have also been vaccinated.
Iran is planning to reach mass vaccination before March 2022 using a combination of imported and homegrown vaccines.
Most Iranians have been vaccinated with the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine but the share of local vaccines are growing as more COV-Iran Barekat jabs, manufactured by the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, are being delivered to the Health Ministry.
Head of Covid-19 Operations in Tehran, Alireza Zali, announced on Tuesday that the highly contagious Lambda variant has not yet been detected anywhere in the country.
Despite the mutation’s spread to 40 countries, including neighboring nations, “there is no evidence that suggests the variant has entered our country,” Zali said.
The Lambda variant, first detected in Peru in August 2020, might be resistant to vaccines, making the mutation a variant of interest.
Zali called for border control to prevent the dangerous variant from arriving into the country. The current surge in infections and deaths in Iran is driven by the very transmissible Delta variant.
The Health Ministry on Tuesday logged 643 more deaths caused by the contagion, taking the national toll to 107,794.
In 24 hours, 31,300 more people were diagnosed with Covid-19, bringing the tally of confirmed cases to 4.9 million.
Worldwide coronavirus cases crossed the 218 million mark on Tuesday and mortalities from the virus reached 4.52 million.