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Iran mandates fourth COVID shot for vulnerable, health workers

Iran offers fourth booster dose of COVID-19 vaccine to vulnerable groups and health workers.

The Iranian health ministry has mandated the use of a fourth booster coronavirus (COVID-19) vaccine for the elderly and vulnerable groups as well as for frontline health workers.

Deputy health minister Kamal Heidari said on Monday that people above 70 years of age as well as immunocompromised adults will need to refer to vaccination centers across Iran to receive a fourth COVID-19 shot more than three months after getting their third booster dose.

Heidari said health workers will be required to receive the fourth dose four months after they have had their third shot.

The official said the mandate is based on a measure adopted in March by Iran’s National Headquarters for Battling the Coronavirus.  

Health Ministry figures show that more than 57 million Iranians have received two doses of vaccines needed to gain full protection against the disease.

The total number of vaccines delivered in Iran has exceeded 149 million, including more than 27 million third shots, according to the figures cited in a Monday report by the official IRNA news agency.

The report said the successful vaccination campaign in Iran which began in December 2020 and accelerated in August last year had helped significantly bring down infection rates in the country.

It said a color-coding system which indicates the severity of disease across Iranian regions currently includes no single city in its red or high alert category.

Heidari said the health ministry expects more referrals to vaccination centers for receiving third booster shots over the upcoming weeks with more easing of COVID-19 restrictions in Iran.

He also said that the ministry plans to ramp up vaccination coverage to include more students and children in the country.

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