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Iran launches second production line of COVIran Barekat vaccine

COVIran Barekat vaccine vials

Iran has launched the second production line of the COVIran Barekat vaccine, developed by experts at the Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam Khomeini.

Hassan Jalili, director of the research team and CEO of Shifapharmed Company, said on Saturday that the second industrial phase of COVIran Barekat vaccine started last week.

“In the coming days, the first consignment produced on this line by the scientists of the Barkat Pharmaceutical Group will be secured, and the second phase will be officially operational,” he added.

The new line can produce 6 to 8 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine a month, creating a new capacity in Iran's vaccination program, Jalili said. 

So far, Jalili said, about 10 million doses of the COVIran Barekat vaccine have been manufactured on the first line, 5.2 million doses of which have been delivered to the Health Ministry after quality control tests.

The remaining vaccines will be gradually delivered to the ministry for inoculation at public vaccination centers.

Jalili also said the installation of machinery and equipment for the third production line of the plant is already underway. 

“In the coming weeks, we will announce good news about the launch of the third phase in production of the COVIran Barekat vaccine and the capacity to produce more than 20 million doses per month.”

Iran has so far administered nearly 34 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, including more than 11.7 million who have received two shots. They have been either domestically produced or imported from abroad despite illegal US sanctions.

Production of 5 million Fakhra shots a month 

Fakhra, another domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine which has received authorization for emergency use, has completed the third phase of the clinical trial, its project manager Ahmad Karimi said on Saturday.

The 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 in November 2020.

Karimi said Fakhra is “among the vaccines that are completely safe” as it has shown no serious side effects in its first and second human trial phases.

“The vaccine provided adequate immunogenicity in the human subjects," he said, adding it produced enough antibodies to neutralize the new coronavirus.

Currently, Karimi said, some 500,000 doses of the Fakhra vaccine are ready for use and about 3 million doses are going through the production process.

The production line already existed at the Defense Ministry and was modified for the manufacture of vaccines, he explained, hoping that the plant will become operational in the next two months and reach the production capacity of 5 million doses per month.

According to the latest Health Ministry figures, 5,275,567 people have been infected with COVID-19 in Iran and 113,824 people have died.

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