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Rouhani: Iran tries to begin COVID-19 vaccination this month

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iran's President Hassan Rouhani speaks during a meeting of the national task force for fighting the coronavirus in Tehran, on January 23, 2021. (Photo by

President Hassan Rouhani says Iran is attempting to begin the nationwide vaccination against the COVID-19 pandemic in the current Persian calendar month which ends on February 18.

“In this meeting, it was announced that all efforts are being made to start the vaccination in the country in the month of Bahman, God willing, and this is a very important job,” he told a meeting of the national task force for fighting the coronavirus in Tehran on Saturday.

Rouhani said that in the next Persian calendar year, which starts on March 21, three Iranian vaccines will be available.

Some of these vaccines are completely homegrown and the remaining are joint products, he added.

Iran will receive over 16 million doses of vaccines from COVAX, a multi-agency group dedicated to assuring fair access to vaccines for low- and middle-income countries, Rouhani said, adding that the country will also try to procure vaccines from elsewhere.

“The domestic vaccine is an honor for us, and the foreign vaccine is a necessity … until the domestic one is available,” he emphasized.

Last month, Iran launched human trials of its first domestically-developed COVID-19 vaccine after successfully completing the initial steps and obtaining necessary approvals.

In parallel with efforts at developing home-made vaccines, Iranian authorities have said the county has plans to purchase foreign brands that pass safety and efficiency tests.

However, inhumane US sanctions have affected Iran’s ability to make the payment for importing vaccines as well as life-saving medical equipment.

Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has banned the import of COVID-19 vaccines from the United States and Britain, but allowing the Iranian government to supply the vaccine from other reliable sources.

So far, 1,367,032 Iranians have been infected with COVID-19 in the country. More than 57,290 people have died, while 1,158,475 have recovered.

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