Jan 26, 2021 14:18 UTC
  • Iran approves import, production of Russian-made Sputnik V COVID-19 vaccine

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif said on Tuesday that the country has approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and plans to both import and produce it.

According to Tasnim News Agency, Tehran has given the go-ahead for the Sputnik V jab, made by Moscow’s Gamaleya Institute, to be used as part of its efforts to protect its population of more than 80 million people from the coronavirus.

Speaking at a press conference after talks with his Russian counterpart on Tuesday, Zarif said: “We can inform you that the Sputnik V vaccine has been registered in Iran as of yesterday. It was approved by our healthcare authorities and soon we hope to be able to purchase it, as well as beginning joint production with the co-operation of institutes in Russia and Iran.”

As early as September last year, the two countries were reportedly in discussions about enabling Tehran to begin manufacturing vials of the formula. At the time, the Islamic Republic’s top diplomat in Moscow, Kazem Jalali, told journalists they “will cooperate in two or three areas,” adding, “That includes joint production with Russia. Iran has great potential to produce the vaccine.”

Iran has recorded over 1.38 million cases and 57,560 deaths since last year, according to the Health Ministry on Tuesday, but there has been a decline in new infections in recent weeks.

The number of people infected with COVID-19 across the world has surpassed 100 million and the death toll has exceeded 2.15 million.

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