Iran launches human trials for domestically-developed Covid-19 vaccine

Volunteers in Tehran have been administered the first doses of the country’s domestically-developed vaccine as trials kicked off on Tuesday. Rights groups earlier asked the US not to disrupt vaccine distribution in Iran.

The COV Iran Barkat vaccine, which consists of two separate injections, was produced by Tehran-based pharmaceutical company Shifa Pharmed and the Executive Headquarters of Imam’s Order (EIKO), a state-affiliated agency.

A spokesperson for EIKO told Iranian media that more than 65,000 volunteers have signed up for the trials.

The head of the Iranian Society for Immunology and Allergy, Mohammad Vojgani, was quoted as saying the country has the ability to make domestically-produced vaccines available within the next six months.

President Hassan Rouhani said earlier that, along with developing a vaccine on its own, Iran is considering partnering with a foreign country or receiving a vaccine through the World Health Organization’s COVAX program.

Iranian officials have said that the US sanctions make it nearly impossible to procure life-saving drugs and to secure a loan from the International Monetary Fund for Covid-19 relief.

Last week, Human Rights Watch along with nearly 30 other humanitarian groups urged Washington to provide “public assurances and comfort letter” to financial institutions that they will not be punished for assisting Iran in vaccine distribution.

“As vaccines become available, it is critical that Iranians do not experience restrictions or delays due to economic sanctions that would endanger more lives,” the joint statement said.

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Source:RT World News

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