The first clinical trials in Iran of a coronavirus vaccine developed in Iran began today, local media reported, which, according to Tehran, will help the country overcome the pandemic despite US sanctions blocking Iran to introduce vaccines.
The Setad group, controlled by Iran's top leader, said production of the vaccine developed by one of its companies, Shifa Pharmed, could reach 12 million doses a month, six months after successful completion of clinical trials. .
The first volunteers to receive the vaccine were group executives and the daughter of its leader, in a bid to boost Iranian confidence in the vaccine.
“The message of this action is that we do not consider ourselves different from other people and we brought our families first to get the vaccine,” said Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki.
Iran is the country most affected by the covid-19 pandemic in the Middle East. Tehran complains that its ability to buy vaccines is limited due to US sanctions imposed after 2018 when the government of President Donald Trump withdrew from the international agreement on Iran's nuclear program.
Iran announced last week that it had received approval from the US authorities to purchase coronavirus vaccines through the COVAX initiative under the auspices of the World Health Organization.
The Iranian Red Crescent has also announced, regardless of the government, that it intends to introduce a Chinese vaccine against covid-19.