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EghtesadOnline: The Health Ministry on Saturday registered 12,800 new Covid-19 infections, its lowest daily tally since early July, marking a sharp decline in cases as the fifth wave of the pandemic subsides.

Iran is seeing a 74% drop in daily infections, compared to the peak of the disease on August 17 when health officials logged over 50,000 new cases, IRNA reported.

Driven by the highly contagious Delta variant, the fifth wave overwhelmed Iran’s healthcare system, which led to a shortage of medicine that placed the whole country on red alert.

Officials have since ramped up vaccine rollout to contain the resurgence of the contagion. 

The Health Ministry lowered vaccine eligibility age by five years this weekend to include anyone over the age of 32 as more shipments of the Chinese Sinopharm arrived into the country. 

Border provinces have begun inoculating people between the ages of 22 to 31 to prevent other mutations from entering through land. 

So far, some 28.3 million have received a first dose and 13.6 million people have been fully vaccinated. Iran has administered a total of more than 42 million shots since February. 

 

 

Vaccine for Children

Iran on Saturday authorized the immunization of adolescents with the Sinopharm vaccine as well as PastuCovac, the country’s jointly produced vaccine with Cuba. 

“Based on clinical trials, these vaccines build immunity in teenagers… It will soon be given to those under 18 years old,” head of Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, said. 

Iran plans to start vaccinating school-age children in less than two weeks to facilitate school reopenings across the country and switch back to in-person learning. 

The country closed down schools and universities when the pandemic began back in February 2020 but it hopes to resume physical presence in educational institutions over the next two to three months. 

Less populated schools and classrooms, especially in rural areas, will reopen in days when the next semester starts.

Teachers, school personnel and university professors have already been vaccinated against the virus to pave the way for large-scale resumption of educational activities.

 

Iran pandemic COVID