Iranian health ministry has taken delivery of a first batch of India-made coronavirus vaccines, a fifth foreign vaccine supply arriving in the country in the past two months as authorities go ahead with a nation-wide immunization program against the virus.
The semi-official ISNA news agency said on Thursday that the batch that arrived in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini airport overnight contained 150,000 doses of COVAXIN, India’s flagship vaccine to tackle the coronavirus.
The consignment was cleared by customs officials in the airport and handed over the representatives of the Iranian food and drug agency for shipping to vaccination centers across Iran, said other reports.
The shipment from India increases Iran’s stock of coronavirus vaccines to 800,000 jabs. The country aims to vaccinate 1.7 million healthcare workers and vulnerable people by the end of the current calendar year in late March.
Iran has already taken delivery of three batches of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines and a consignment of Sinopharm jabs developed in China.
Iran’s Pasteur Institute will also use some 100,000 doses of Soberana 2 vaccines that arrived on Thursday from Cuba in a trial in Iran in April as it prepares for a mass production of the vaccine.
Senior authorities in the Iranian government have indicated they have no preference for coronavirus vaccines developed in Western countries mainly due to problems related to supplies and also because of public concerns about the safety of the vaccines.
Health ministry officials have said that Iran will start to use its home-made vaccines in a public inoculation drive against the coronavirs in late April or early May.