EghtesadOnline: The Iranian Red Crescent Society on Sunday imported its first shipment of Covid vaccines for children between the ages of three to 17 as the country prepares for large-scale school reopenings.
Some six million doses of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine were delivered to the Health Ministry for distribution, secretary for the IRCS, Mohammad Hassan Qosian Moqaddam, was quoted as saying by IRNA.
“Today, six million jabs out of the 12 million recommended shots arrived into the country,” he said and encouraged everyone to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
Iran announced its plan to vaccinate school-age children last week days before the new school year kicked off. Only first- graders and students attending vocational schools and schools located in rural areas physically returned to classrooms.
Majority of pupils will continue with distant learning until they are inoculated. Iran closed down schools and universities in February 2020 when the virus first emerged in the central city of Qom.
Qosian Moqaddam expressed hope that all Iranians can get vaccinated by early February as Beijing supplies the nation with weekly shipments of Sinopharm.
So far, more than 36.3 million people have received a first shot and 15.6 million have been fully vaccinated, bringing the total number of doses administered to 51.9 million.
Under its agreement with China, the vaccine-manufacturing country will export 60 million vaccine doses to Iran during October. Iran is giving out nearly one million vaccine shots on a daily basis.
The Health Ministry on Monday said mass vaccination has significantly decreased the death rate among coronavirus patients, bringing the cumulative daily death toll of 16 provinces to less than five.
“The declining trend of mortalities after the passage of the fifth peak is quite apparent. One of its main reasons is accelerated vaccinations,” The ministry’s statement read.
The report said that three provinces with high vaccination rates logged zero fatalities on Monday. Only 29 cities throughout the nation remain on red alert, down by hundreds from a high of over 350 during the peak of the fifth wave.
Iran grappled with a surge in infections driven by the highly contagious Delta variant over summer. The Health Ministry has lowered vaccine eligibility age to 15 to build immunity among the population and prevent a sixth wave.
Iran on Monday registered 14,470 infections that took the case tally to 5.5 million and 289 overnight fatalities which pushed the national toll to 119,600.