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Iran Press TV

Iran to launch mass production of Russian Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

Iran Press TV

Friday, 19 February 2021 9:05 PM

Iran plans to start the mass production of Russia's Sputnik V anti-coronavirus vaccines but will use a variety of vaccines, including Indian and Chinese ones.

Iranian president's chief of staff, Mahmoud Vaezi said on Friday that a variety of vaccines ranging from the WHO-affiliate COVAX vaccines to Russian, Indian and Chinese vaccines as well as domestic vaccines will be ready for nationwide distribution in the near future.

He stated that the priority is to start the vaccination campaigns as soon as possible, noting that the administration does not favor any specific domestic or foreign producers for the vaccines.

Iranian Ambassador to Russia Kazem Jalali said earlier that Tehran and Moscow had reached an agreement on joint production of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. They had already signed an agreement on supplies of the Russian vaccine to Iran.

The first batch of Sputnik-V arrived at Iran's Imam Khomeini International Airport on February 4. The second was delivered on February 12.

Sputnik V is developed by the Gamaleya Research Institute of Epidemiology and Microbiology, and was registered on 11 August 2020 by the Russian Ministry of Health as Gam-COVID-Vac.

According to a study on its interim analysis, published in The Lancet in early February, it has 91.6% efficacy without any unusual side effects.

Emergency mass-distribution of the vaccine began in December 2020 in multiple countries including Russia, Argentina, Belarus, Hungary, Serbia, and the United Arab Emirates.

As of February 2021, twenty one countries have granted Sputnik V emergency use authorization while over a billion doses of the vaccine were ordered for immediate distribution globally.

A delegation from Iran's Health Ministry headed by a deputy health minister visited last week Moscow to discuss cooperation between the two sides in a variety of health-related areas, particularly the co-production of Russia's coronavirus vaccine.

Iran also signed an agreement with Cuba last month to cooperate in the production of a vaccine called Subrana 2, which is now undergoing the human phase trials by the Cuban Finlay Institute and the Pasteur Institute of Iran.

Iran has also undertaken major efforts – in the midst of US sanctions – to develop two homegrown vaccines called Coviran Barekat and Razi COV-Pars, which were produced by the Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam Khomeini and the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute respectively.

The new development came after earlier the same day, Iran launched the first phase in the human trial of its second COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute.

The vaccine, Razi COV-Pars, was unveiled during a ceremony in Tehran, with Health Minister Saeed Namaki, Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi and Vice President for Science and Technology Sourena Sattari in attendance.

Razi COV-Pars, administered via injection and inhalation, is an mRNA recombinant vaccine that reconstructs a harmless piece of the virus' spike protein.

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