Iran's Food and Drug Administration (IFDA) says the country’s imports of coronavirus vaccines would expand to reach a target over 61 million doses before the end of next month.
IFDA spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said on Thursday that Iran will have access to 120 million doses of coronavirus vaccines, including those manufactured locally, within the next three months.
The announcement comes as Iran is speeding up its vaccinations against the disease months after the campaign got off to a slow start. The country has taken delivery of over 21 million doses of vaccines with nearly a third being the Sinopharm jab from China.
Number of daily vaccinations in Iran reached nearly 650,000 on Wednesday, according to Jahanpour, who said that total number of shots administered since late December had topped nearly 17.295 million.
He said that locally manufactured vaccines had been responsible for seven percent of all vaccinations, adding that increased supply of flagship vaccine Coviran Barekat in the upcoming weeks would further speed up the inoculation program.
That comes as Leader of the Islamic Rveoloution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei on Wednesday urged the government to “increase efforts to both import and to produce homegrown vaccines”.
Ayatollah Khamenei had made a similar call in January while insisting that Iran should refrain from importing vaccines from Britain or the US because of health problems reported from such imports in the past.
Jahanpour said that Iran had no specific ban on any international brand of vaccine, saying all shots approved by the World Health Organization would have permission for imports except those that are exclusively developed and made by the United States or Britain.