Tehran claims 100% success in indigenous Covid-19 jab trial as country gears up for mass vaccine production

The head of Iran’s indigenous vaccine development program has said the country’s phase-one human trials showed “unexpectedly good” results, claiming the jab has been 100 percent successful so far.

“I promise the people of Iran that there will be no concern about access to coronavirus vaccine in the country in the next 2 months,” said Mohammad Mokhber, the head of Iran’s Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam (EIKO), on Tuesday.

“The good news about the COV-Iran Barekat vaccine is that in phase one of the clinical trial, the results were unexpectedly good and the human test was 100 percent successful at this stage,” Mokhber added.

The official said that mass production of the jab will begin in late spring, echoing previous comments from the Iranian government on the issue. Clinical data has yet to be published from the COV-Iran Barekat human trial. 

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A total of 56 volunteers were reportedly involved in the trial, many of whom received their first jab in December. All participants had been given both doses by February.

Also speaking on Tuesday, Iranian Health Minister Saeed Namaki claimed that the country will become one of the largest vaccine manufacturers in the world in the coming months, and will soon be exporting its inoculation all over the globe.

Namaki added that there were a number of other Iranian Covid-19 vaccines in development, with trials kicking off over the next few months. 

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Iran has been one of the world’s worst-affected countries during the Covid-19 pandemic, but to date has only had limited access to vaccines.

Tehran has granted emergency-use permits for a number of foreign-produced vaccines, including Sputnik V, India’s COVAXIN shot (produced by Bharat Biotech), as well as two versions of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine – one manufactured by Russia’s R-Pharm and the other by South Korea’s SKBio Company.

Last week, 250,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine, donated by China, were delivered to the health ministry. By the end of March, Iran expects to have received two million doses hailing from a variety of sources, though Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei reportedly banned the import of US- or UK-made vaccines.

Iran has a population of more than 80 million people.

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