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Iran to accelerate COVID vaccinations with ramp up in import from China

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 is to speed up vaccinations against COVID as it takes delivery of large batches of shots from China.

Iran is to ramp up vaccinations against the coronavirus as the country is taking delivery of large batches of Sinopharm shots from China.

The Iranian customs office (IRICA) said on Saturday that a consignment of 4.6 million vaccines had arrived in the country from China overnight, saying it would be a major boost to the nationwide vaccination campaign against the disease.

IRICA authorities said three more shipments consisting of four million Sinopharm jabs are due in Iran later on Saturday and early on Sunday.

That will bring the total number of foreign-made coronavirus vaccines supplied to Iran since December to nearly 40 million, according to IRICA figures.

Iran will also rely on a monthly supply of millions of home-made vaccines to speed up a vaccination campaign that has delivered nearly 29 million shots to people’s arms, including 9.5 million people who have received two doses, since the program began late last year.

A spokesman of Iran’s Food and Drug Organization said that more large shipments of Sinopharm vaccines will arrive in Iran from China after foreign ministers of the two countries coordinated the issue during a phone conversation on Friday.

Iran has been facing delays in vaccine deliveries from other countries both because of US sanctions, which make payments to foreign companies almost impossible, and also because of global issues with vaccine supply that is related to new waves the disease reported in various countries.

Health ministry figures published on Saturday showed there was some respite in the mounting number of coronavirus deaths and infections in Iran as the country is going through a fifth wave of the disease.

The daily death toll from the virus was 515 on Saturday, down from high records of over 700 seen last month, while the number of infections reported since Friday declined to 20,404, showed the health ministry figures.


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