Sunday , 17 January 2021

COVAX Vaccines to Arrive in Iran by Spring

Iranwire – Iran will receive its first shipment of vaccines from COVAX, the Word Health Organization’s initiative to ensure a more equitable distribution of coronavirus vaccine across the world, before spring arrives, an Iranian official has announced. Vaccinations of priority groups will start once the shipment is received, he added.

On Monday, January 11, Mostafa Ghanei, chairman of the National Coronavirus Taskforce’s Scientific Committee, reported that Iran has procured two million doses of Covid-19 vaccine from COVAX and delivery could be as early as mid-February. The first group to be vaccinated will be doctors, nurses and health workers. Ghanei added that if the clinical trials of the Iranian “CovIran-Barekat” vaccine are successful, the mass production of this vaccine will start sometime in May.

Fourteen days after the first phase of human tests on the Iranian-produced vaccine began, the second phase got underway on Tuesday, January 12. Three volunteers received the vaccine: Tayebeh Mokhber, daughter of the president of the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive, Ali Asgari, vice president of the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Directive for Social Affairs, and Hamid Reza Khalili, CEO of Pars Oil Company.

According to Iranian officials, the vaccine Iran is producing jointly with Cuba is a few steps ahead of the Iranian vaccine.

“The vaccine jointly developed with Cuba is in phase 3 and is being tested on a large number of subjects,” said Ghanei. “In other words, this vaccine is ahead of Iran’s CovIran vaccine.” He also reported that vaccines developed by three other Iranian companies would finish animal testing by January 19 and, if successful, they will receive permits to start clinical trials on humans.

The number of daily coronavirus fatalities in Iran once again approached three digits. Fatalities in the provinces continue to rise and fall, except in Mazandaran, where the rise in infections has been alarming in recent days.

The coronavirus vaccine has dominated the news, but there are also reports about air pollution, extensive power outages and the reopening of schools.

“Smart” Information System for Vaccinations

“A smart system for the distribution of the vaccine has been designed that will clearly show the situation for all vulnerable individuals and the priorities broken down by each city as part of the strategy for building confidence among the people and making the distribution and vaccinations transparent,” said government spokesman Ali Rabiei. He emphasized that the order of priorities for vaccination had been predetermined based on “scientific and moral evidence” and, according to a decision by the National Coronavirus Taskforce, no vaccination will take place outside this order of priorities.

Rabiei also claimed the government is working hard to increase the number of Covid-19 tests carried out. The number of tests conducted in Iran reached 40,000 per day in autumn, whereas Rabiei had promised that it would be increased to 100,000 per day, a promise that remains unfulfilled after two months.

Provinces Round-up

Of the seven cities in a red state of alert in Iran, five are in Mazandaran, and with more than 1,300 Covid-19 patients in hospitals, the situation in the province continues to be alarming. In recent days more restrictions have been imposed, including a ban on traffic between cities except for vehicles with permits, which are issued on a very limited basis. Also, all tourist facilities and hotels in red and orange cities have been locked down.

In the 24-hour period spanning January 11 and January 12, 240 people with Covid-19 symptoms were hospitalized in treatment centers under the supervision of Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences and currently 1,392 people with suspected or confirmed coronavirus are hospitalized across the province.

The situation in the Tehran metropolitan area is fragile and unstable, said Dr. Alireza Zali, director of Tehran Coronavirus Taskforce, who reported that in the last 24 hours 297 new patients were hospitalized in Tehran province, 110 of them in intensive care units. Currently, 1,892 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized across the province, of whom 800 are being treated at ICUs.

Despite the fact that the National Coronavirus Taskforce had declared that Tehran province is in a yellow state of alert, Dr. Zali cautioned against haste in the lifting of restrictions and the reopening of offices and businesses.

According to the latest reports, currently 139 people with Covid-19 are hospitalized in Kurdistan, 32 of them in ICUs. The official coronavirus death toll in the province now stands at 1,045 but no new fatalities have been reported in the last 24 hours.

In Alborz, however, five more people with Covid-19 died in the last 24 hours, whereas just a day earlier no fatalities had been reported. The official death toll in the province now stands at 2,618. During the same time period 38 more people with Covid-19 symptoms were hospitalized in Alborz, bringing the total number of hospitalizations in the province to 229.

In Bushehr, 30 new coronavirus patients were hospitalized and 10 were discharged after recovery. Currently, 103 Covid-19 patients are hospitalized in the province, 21 of them in ICUs. Of the latter number, 10 are breathing with the help of ventilators. In the last 24 hours one Covid-19 patient died, bringing the official death toll in the province to 843.

With the death of two more patients, the coronavirus death toll in Qazvin reached 1,249. In the last 24 hours, 68 more people with Covid-19 were identified in the province and 33 of them were hospitalized, bringing the total number of hospitalizations in Qazvin to 176. During the same 24-hour period, 23 patients were discharged after full or partial recovery.

Iran’s Latest Coronavirus Statistics

In her daily briefing for January 12, the health ministry spokeswoman Dr. Sima Sadat Lari announced the official coronavirus statistics for the last 24 hours:

Dr. Lari reported that currently seven Iranian cities are on red alert, 30 cities are in an orange state of alert, 219 are yellow and 192 are blue. Alert level for cities is set every Saturday by the National Coronavirus Taskforce based on the information it receives for the preceding week.

This is part of IranWire’s coronavirus chronology. Read the full chronology