Iran plans to import about two million doses of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from India, China and Russia by the end of the current Iranian calendar year (March 20). About this reports TehranTimes.
“An Iranian-made vaccine is more reliable than many foreign-made vaccines, but it takes a long time to get approved. Thus, the Ministry of Health plans to import about two million doses of vaccines from India, China and Russia by the end of the year, ”IRNA quoted the head of the Iranian Medical Council, Mohammad-Reza Zafargandi, on Monday.
According to Zafargandi, Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have never been on the agenda for Iran to purchase due to their high prices, transportation problems and the need to store in very cold temperatures.
“But the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is produced in Sweden, and only its scientific research was carried out in British Oxford, can be bought. Moreover, it can be left in Iran, ”he explained.
In a televised speech on Friday, Islamic Revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned the import of American and British coronavirus vaccines into Iran, stating that if Americans could produce vaccines, they would not be in such dire circumstances.
“I really don't trust them. Sometimes they want to test the vaccine in other countries, ”added Ayatollah Khamenei.
After the speech by the leader, Mohammad-Hassan, Kossian-Mokaddam, a spokesman for the Iranian Red Crescent Society, said importing Pfizer vaccines made in the United States “is no longer an issue.”
“We are ready to cooperate, if necessary, in case the Ministry of Health makes a request [to import vaccines] from eastern countries,” IRNA quotes Kossian-Mokaddam.
The Islamic Republic of Iran was one of the first countries in the world to take the blow of the pandemic - the infection spread rapidly, and the number of deaths also increased. The first two cases of coronavirus infection were detected in Iran on February 19, 2020 and both were fatal.