On February 28, 2021, Iran received the first consignment of the Chinese COVID-19 vaccine Sinopharm, as the country surpassed 60.000 deaths from the pandemic cities.
The cargo of 250.000 doses of the vaccine, donated by China, was handed over to the Health Ministry, officials said.
Kianoush JAHANPOUR, spokesman of the Food and Drug Administration told state TV: “This act and those similar to it by the government and nation of China are admirable and will, of course, remain in the historical memory of the Iranian nation”.
The Sinopharm vaccine is the second foreign vaccine imported to Iran after Russia’s Sputnik V, the first doses of which were delivered earlier this month and used to inoculate front-line healthcare workers.
Deputy Health Minister Alireza RAISI, spokesman of the national anti-coronavirus task force said the government hopes to begin inoculating an estimated 1.3 million vulnerable Iranians before the end of the current Iranian calendar year on March 20, and finish their vaccination one month later.
He also said that Iran will know soon when exactly it will take delivery of 4.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine as part of COVAX, a global vaccine initiative by the World Health Organization.
Iranian officials have also hinted at the possibility of importing a vaccine from India’s Bharat Biotech.
At the same time, Iranian scientists have been working on domestic vaccines, two of which – named COVIran Barekat and Razi COV-Pars are currently in the human trial phase.
Iran has been fighting the deadliest pandemic the world has seen in many decades amid the US sanctions that have seriously hampered efforts to stem the outbreak.
So far, more than 1.63 million Iranians have been infected with COVID-19. The Health Ministry announced on Sunday that the death toll from the pandemic had crossed the 60.000 marks.
This article was edited using the data from the Aljazeera.com, Nation.com.pk, Presstv.com and Cgtn.com