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Iran to receive 10 mln J&J, Pfizer vaccine doses from Belgium

Iran is to receive 10 mln of J&J, Pfizer vaccines to boost immunization against the coronavirus.

Iranian customs office IRICA say the country will receive 10 million coronavirus vaccine doses manufactured in Belgium under American brands of J&J and Pfizer.

IRICA’s deputy chief and head of technical operations Mehrdad Arvanaghi said on Thursday that the J&J and Pfizer vaccines will be due in Iran in the upcoming weeks, adding that the country had placed orders for supplies from Belgium.

Arvanaghi said the batch of J&J and Pfizer coronavirus vaccines destined for Iran will contain nearly 10 million doses.

Iran’s deputy health minister had said on Wednesday that Iran’s National Vaccination Committee had agreed to a request by the health ministry to import Pfizer vaccines for immunizing “pregnant mothers”.

Alireza Raeisi said that frontline health workers who have been fully vaccinated against the coronavirus will also be eligible to receive Pfizer and J&J shots as a booster dose.

Iran has mostly relied on China’s flagship Sinopharm vaccine to immunize its population against the disease.

IRICA’s Arvanaghi said on Thursday that Sinopharm had accounted for over 85% of all vaccines imported into Iran since December.

Other brands imported into Iran over the period include British-Swedish vaccine AstraZeneca with more than six million doses, Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine with 1.35 million doses and other vaccines supplied under an international vaccine projects known as COVAX.

Iran has also used home-made vaccines to speed up an inoculation program that has delivered nearly 50 million shots into the people’s arms.

Health ministry figures published on Thursday showed that the accelerated vaccination campaign in Iran had led to a reduction in coronavirus deaths and infections as daily death toll from the virus plummeted to 317, down by over 50% against figures reported earlier this month when the country was grappling with a fifth wave of the disease.  

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