Iran has approved the use of its flagship coronavirus vaccine CovIran Barekat for a public inoculation program that is set to begin in few days.
Iran’s health minister Saeid Namaki announced on Monday that mass vaccinations using CovIran will begin in the next working week in Iran beginning May 29.
“As I had promised earlier the Iranian vaccine would be ready for public injections by the end of the spring and we hope we could launch this as of next week,” said Namaki while speaking in a medical college in the northern Iranian city of Rasht.
Namaki said CovIran had successfully passed all required tests, including the so-called Phase III human trials, adding that public vaccinations using the jab will first begin with volunteers.
He said that Iran had gone through nearly a year of intensive work to join the club of countries in the world with the capacity to scale up production for coronavirus vaccines.
CovIran Barekat is one of four Iranian COVID-19 vaccine candidates that has been developed by Shifa Pharmed, a subsidiary of the Iranian economic and industrial conglomerate SETAD.
SETAD authorities had earlier indicated that the jab will be manufactured at scale in the calendar month beginning July 21 when some 12 million doses of the vaccine will be available to health authorities.
More than three million Iranians have received a first dose of coronavirus vaccines as part of a national vaccination campaign that began late last year using supplies from other countries.
Namaki said Iran will finish vaccinations for people above 60 years of age in late July as the country hopes to contain the highest death rate related to the coronavirus which normally occurs in the age group.