Iran issues permit to use Russian COVID-19 vaccine

TEHRAN – Iran’s Food and Drug Administration has issued a permit to both import and co-produce Russian COVID-19 vaccine, Sputnik V, to urgently fight the pandemic, FDA spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour announced on Thursday.

The FDA has approved the Sputnik V vaccine made by the Gamaleya Center of Russia to counter the disease, he said, adding that the vaccine will be imported in the form of single-dose and five-dose vials.

Jahanpour went on to say that those other vaccines made in India, China, and Russia are also under evaluation by the FDA, IRNA reported.

Health Minister Saeed Namaki said on Wednesday that there are four different ways to supply the coronavirus vaccine, including direct purchase from a foreign country, procurement from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, a joint production with a Cuban company as well as domestic production of the vaccine.

The clinical trial for the Coviran Barekat vaccine is also going well, and the Razi Institute is getting permission for a clinical trial, another company will also receive human trial permits by the next week, he explained.

Mahmoud Vaezi, the head of the Presidential Office, also said on Wednesday that “We have been negotiating with Russia, China, and India for about two months to purchase the vaccine. Fortunately, the pace of negotiations with Russia has accelerated and the scientific team of the ministry of health confirmed the Sputnik V vaccine.”

Coordination has been made for the contract and it is planned to receive the first shipment before February 10, he said.

On January 24, Namaki announced that Iran will soon be one of the world’s important manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Homegrown vaccine

Production of COVID-19 vaccine was followed by 16 Iranian companies since the beginning of the outbreak, and so far 12 companies applied to produce the vaccine, of which eight are operating, one of the companies have entered the human trial phase, and two more companies will soon test the vaccines on human, Jahanpour said on January 10.

COVIRAN BAREKAT, the first coronavirus vaccine made by Iranian researchers of the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, was unveiled and injected into three volunteers during a ceremony on December 29, 2020.

On January 11, the second dose of the vaccine was injected into the three volunteers.

So far, 35 people have received the first dose of the vaccine, and this number should reach 56 people in the first clinical study phase.

Mohammad Mokhber, the head of the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam said on January 19 that over the next month, 2-4 million doses of vaccine will be produced monthly, which will soon reach up to 4-24 million doses.

On January 18, the second homegrown COVID-19 vaccine developed and proposed by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute has been approved to begin a clinical trial.

COVID-19 daily new cases and mortalities

In a press briefing on Friday, Health Ministry’s spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 6,573 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,405,414. She added that 1,196,374 patients have so far recovered, but 3,990 remain in critical conditions of the disease.

During the past 24 hours, 71 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 57,807, she added.

So far, 9,176,899 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country.



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