Iran plans to import 42 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines from abroad, Iranian Food and Drug Administration (IFDA) spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour said Tuesday, according to state TV.
The imported vaccines are meant for high-risk groups, while the public will receive a locally produced vaccine, PressTV reported. Jahanpour said that Iran had pre-ordered about 16.8 million shots through COVAX, an initiative led by the World Health Organization, which aims to provide worldwide access to effective Covid-19 vaccines.
“In addition to that, negotiations are underway with four countries to pre-order 20 to 21 million doses of corona (virus) vaccines which if approved by the IFDA, would be used in the country,” Jahanpour said.
He also said another 4 million doses of vaccine would be supplied through joint manufacturing ventures between Iranian and foreign companies and that the foreign supply of vaccines would be exclusively dedicated to high-risk groups, including the elderly, those with debilitating diseases and health workers.
“The rest of the country’s need would be met through domestic manufacturing,” Jahanpour said.
Accusations against US: Last Thursday, Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif accused the United States of waging an economic war and preventing Iran from making a payment to COVAX.
“The United States even prevents us from using our own money in different countries to pay COVAX for the vaccine,” Zarif said, adding, “We’ve been trying, our Ministry of Health has been trying, our Central Bank has been trying to transfer money we have in billions in other countries to WHO for COVAX and we haven’t had much success.”