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Iran’s Zarif hails cooperation with Cuba in vaccine production

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 Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif (2nd-R) meets with Dr. Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director-general of the Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV), a Cuban epidemiological research institute.

Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has praised cordial relations with Cuba, which recently saw bilateral cooperation in the fields of biotechnology and genetic engineering, especially the production of vaccines.

Zarif met with Dr. Vicente Vérez Bencomo, director-general of the Finlay Institute of Vaccines (IFV), a Cuban epidemiological research institute, in Tehran on Monday. 

The Cuban scientist, for his part, provided explanations about the cooperation between the vaccine institutes of the two countries on the production of a COVID-19 vaccine and its unique features.

He thanked Zarif and the Iranian Foreign Ministry for working to swiftly advance bilateral cooperation towards developing the joint vaccine. 

During the meeting, the Cuban ambassador to Tehran described as very important Zarif's last year visit to Havana at the start of cooperation between the Pasteur Institute of Iran (IPI) and the IFV for the joint production of the COVID-19 vaccine.

On Sunday, Vérez Bencomo held talks with Iran’s Health Minister Saeed Namaki and his deputies.

Speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, IPI head Alireza Biglari said that the third phase in the human trial of the joint vaccine is coming to an end in both Iran and Cuba, and that it has proved to be highly effective against variants of the coronavirus.

“The results of the clinical trial of the Soberana vaccine in Cuba demonstrate a 91.2-percent effectiveness against the strains in Cuba, South Africa and California, which are among the worst strains of the coronavirus,” he added.

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