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Iran set to roll out homegrown coronavirus vaccine next week


Iran is set to roll out its first indigenously developed vaccine for coronavirus, COV-Iran Barakat, next week after the third and final clinical trial.

Soberana-02 vaccine, jointly developed by Iran and Cuba, has also completed its third clinical trial and is ready for industrial line production.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki on Monday announced that the two homegrown vaccines were being mass-produced and would be administered to people starting next week.

He said the second phase of the vaccine development involving clinical trials had been accomplished, and the third phase involving mass production and injection was presently in progress.

Earlier on Monday, Kianush Jahanpur, head of Iran’s food and drugs administration, in a tweet said the good news was “on the way,” referring to COV-Iran and Soberana-02 vaccines.

COV-Iran vaccine, unveiled in December last year, has been developed by state-run Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam. Its production began late March, followed by clinical trials in late April conducted across the country.

Hassan Jalili, head of the research center producing the vaccine, on Sunday informed that one million doses of COV-Iran Barakat will be produced this month, which will go up to three million next month, 10-12 million by July and 13-15 million by August.

According to Minoo Mohraz, a leading medical expert and member of Iran’s task force against COVID-19, the domestically produced COV-Iran vaccine has “high efficiency and immunity”.

On the other hand, Soberana-02, developed by Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute and Pasteur Institute of Iran, is the first collaborative project involving transfer of technical knowledge between Iran and Cuba.

Iran, which has recovered from the fourth wave of pandemic, with drop in fresh cases and fatalities, has been slow in its vaccination campaign.

The country began COVID-19 vaccination early February with Russian-made Sputnik V Vaccine. It later received vaccines from China, India, and the WHO’s COVAX, a global vaccine sharing scheme, as well.

A total of 3.5 million people have received one jab, while 516,000 have received both jabs, mainly healthcare workers, aged and ailing people.

President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said the vaccination of people with different ailments will end by late July and the whole population is expected to get vaccinated by November.



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