Sep 26, 2021 17:37 UTC
  • Iran: ‘Prospects look good’ as over 50% of target population vaccinated by at least one dose

More than 50 percent of Iran’s target population have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, as the country’s vaccination rollout accelerates, made possible by larger foreign vaccine imports and the higher production of homegrown shots.

According to the latest statistics published by Health Ministry on Sunday, more than 35 million people— out of the target population of 60 million — have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while the total number of vaccines injected has exceeded 50 million.

So far, 15,467,255 people have been fully vaccinated, according to the ministry. That includes the 1,169,478 people who have received the shot in the past 24 hours.

In recent weeks, Iran has on average rolled out more than one million doses each day, doing its utmost to make up for a lengthy delay in importing enough shots to complement the vaccination.

According to Kayhan Azadmanesh, the head of the virology research division at the Pasteur Institute of Iran in Tehran, Iran possesses the technology and know-how of producing vaccines, “so why not use it?”

In an interview with the prestigious scientific journal Nature last month, Azadmanesh said due to Iran’s ability to produce vaccines and in order to ensure the safety of Iranians, “it makes sense to develop a variety of vaccines using different research and development strategies, as China has done.”

The increase in vaccinations in Iran began after the administration of President Seyyed Ebrahim Raeisi, who had made the provision of vaccines and the fight against the deadly virus a top priority, took charge.

In remarks on Saturday, the president stated that 70 percent of the Iranian society would be vaccinated within days.

He said vaccinating 50 million people was made possible only through “invaluable efforts” aimed at fully vaccinating the population.

Alireza Raeisi, the spokesman for the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus, elaborated on the president’s remarks, saying that given the fast pace of vaccinations, the number of people getting the first shot will soon reach 42 million, which is 70 percent of the targeted population for the vaccination campaign.

“More than one million doses are now being administered daily in the country, and given that the target population consists of 60 million people (+18 years of age), when the number of first-dose vaccines reaches 42 million, 70% of the population will have been vaccinated against the coronavirus,” the spokesman explained on Saturday.

“The prospects look good,” he said, asking the population to get vaccinated as soon as possible, while voicing satisfaction with the speed of the import of vaccines.

‘We can’t rely on help from international community’

On Sunday morning, Iran received the 57th shipment of its imported vaccines, which included six million of China’s Sinopharm, making the total of its imported jabs exceed the 71 million mark.

Meanwhile, COVID-related hospitalizations and death are on a declining trajectory in Iran, which is facing a fifth wave of the spread of the virus that pushed the daily death record beyond 700.

According to the Health Ministry, 13,792 people were tested positive for the deadly virus in the last 24 hours, while 288 people lost their lives. Since the beginning of the pandemic in Iran, 119,360 have lost their lives

In spite of the shortcomings throughout the time, Iran has managed to vaccinate all of its prisoners.

Hosting the world’s fourth-largest refugee community, the country has also vaccinated 400,000 foreign nationals.