Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki says the country’s domestically-manufactured version of Russia’s Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine is set to be unveiled on June 26.
"The Iranian version of Sputnik V [coronavirus vaccine] will be unveiled on Saturday," Namaki made the announcement at a provincial headquarters set up for fighting the coronavirus pandemic in the northeastern province of Golestan on Monday.
The health minister expressed appreciation for the efforts by Iranian scientists to develop vaccines against the deadly virus and said the Iranian version of Sputnik V is scheduled to be unveiled on Saturday.
Namaki also said the first phase of the clinical trial of a vaccine produced by Iran’s Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) will begin at the Baqiatallah Hospital in the capital Tehran on June 27.
“Having made all the arrangements and after fully meeting domestic needs, Iran will become an exporter of the coronavirus vaccine as of the beginning of this winter,” the Iranian health minister said.
“After the announcement of the mass production of COVID-19 vaccine in the country, which made us one of the seven countries producing such a product in the world, the [US] ban on the sale of this vaccine to Iran was lifted,” he added.
Namaki went on to say that Iran’s biggest achievement in the face of sanctions is that unlike many countries, not a single patient affected by the coronavirus infection was deprived of health services in hospitals.
In an exclusive interview with Press TV on Sunday, a senior Iranian health official said the Islamic Republic was joining the consortium of countries around the world developing vaccines to fight the disease by producing its first domestic vaccine, known as COVIran Barekat.
“It is very important for those countries with a large population to provide domestic vaccines,” Mostafa Ghanei, Head of the Scientific Committee of Iran’s National Headquarters for Combating the Coronavirus, told Press TV.
He said vaccination is the “most important tool” for the management of the coronavirus pandemic, because it significantly decreases the mortality rate in the countries that have vaccinated the people.
“We finalized the vaccine platform at the end of 2020 on a laboratory scale and we are six months behind in the production of the vaccine because of the sanctions against Iran,” Ghanei added.
The Iranian health minister announced last week that the country has been authorized to start emergency use of COVIran Barekat and added that the permit for using the Pasteur vaccine — which has been jointly developed by Iran and Cuba — would be issued next week.
“The permit for using the Pasteur vaccine will be issued next week, and in the near future, the Razi and Fakhra vaccines will be added to the list of usable [Iranian COVID] vaccines,” Namaki noted.
The Razi vaccine, officially known as Razi COV-Pars, is Iran’s second homegrown vaccine and a product of the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, which is administered via injection and inhalation.
Fakhra, the third Iranian vaccine, is developed by the Iranian Defense Ministry’s research center, formerly headed by nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated in a suspected Israeli-linked terror attack late last year.
In addition to producing domestic vaccines, Iran has imported reliable foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba amid the illegal US sanctions that have seriously hampered the country’s fight against the pandemic.