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Iran Press TV

Iran to launch second phase of vaccinations against COVID in early May

Iran Press TV

Wednesday, 14 April 2021 3:32 PM

A senior Iranian health ministry official says a second phase of vaccinations against COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus pandemic, would begin across the country in early May.

Deputy health minister Alireza Raeisi said on Wednesday that around 1.3 million people will be inoculated against COVID-19 by early next month when the government plans to announce the end of the first phase of vaccinations.

Iran estimates that some 13.3 million people will be immunized against COVID-19 during the second phase. The population includes six million people who are above 65 and those between 16 and 64 who have at least one underlying condition.

The nationwide vaccination campaign against COVID 19 began in Iran in late December after the country took delivery of a first batch of Sputnik V vaccines from Russia. The campaign has also used jabs developed in China and India although some shipments have failed to make it into the country because of tight supplies in the countries of origin.

Raeisi said ending the first round of vaccinations, which has covered frontline healthcare workers and people with very high risk of catching COVID-19, had been made possible after Iran received a shipment of 700,000 vaccines from COVAX, an international vaccine project sponsored by the World Health Organization.

Iran has placed orders for 16.8 million doses of vaccines under COVAX despite restrictions facing the country because of US sanctions which make it almost impossible to transfer funds through the international banking system.

Iran would need 29.5 million vaccine doses to finish the second round of inoculations and authorities hope they would be able to use home-made jabs to deliver on the job

The Iranian health ministry says deaths caused by COVID-19 would drop by 60-70 percent once the second phase of vaccinations is finished by late July based on a preannounced timetable.

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