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EghtesadOnline: Health Minister Bahram Einollahi announced on Thursday that some 80% of Iran’s target population have been given a first dose of Covid-19 vaccine.

“Some 54% have also received both shots,” the minister was quoted as saying by IRNA.

The health official expressed hope that with the adequate speed of vaccine rollout, Iran’s coronavirus death rate can be contained. 

“We’re not seeing signs of the disease’s sixth wave yet and the number of hospitalizations and mortalities have held steady over the past weeks,” Einollahi said. “But all forces are on the alert.”

“We’re hopeful we won’t see a repetition of the fifth wave,” he added.

Over summer and at the peak of the fifth wave, Iran’s largely unvaccinated population saw the infection of 50,000 people and deaths of more than 700 on a daily basis. 

The Health Ministry accelerated vaccinations in late summer after the Iranian Red Crescent Society managed to import great quantities of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine to stem the spread of the virus. 

Einollahi nevertheless urged the public to follow social distancing rules and continue to wear masks in public places to control the pandemic.