Iran has adequate covid vaccines for second round of injections: Official
An Iranian deputy health minister has dismissed concerns about a shortage of coronavirus vaccines for a second round of injections, saying supplies will be ready for people who received a first dose as of next working week beginning Saturday.
“We will ensure coronavirus vaccines supplies will be available for a second shot next week and there is no particular concern about that,” said Alireza Raeisi on Tuesday.
The comments come amid reports in recent days showing that vaccination centers in several Iranian cities have cancelled second dose injections that are used to maximize protection against the coronavirus.
Raeisi blamed the cancellations on a global shortage of vaccines as well as on certain foreign suppliers, including on COVAX, a vaccine pooling scheme which is sponsored by the World Health Organization.
He said Iran had expected to take delivery of three million doses of coronavirus vaccines late last month but supplies failed to reach the country.
“Vaccines purchased from COVAX basket has not been fully delivered to us and they have failed to fully comply with their obligations,” said the official.
Iran has received only two million doses of coronavirus vaccines from a total of 16.8 million doses it has paid for under COVAX. Authorities have blamed delayed payments because of US sanctions as a major issue with restricted COVAX supplies.
Around five million people have been vaccinated against the coronavirus in Iran since the country began its inoculation program in December.
Vaccinations are expected to jump in numbers with the rollout of Iranian-made vaccines this month.
Raeisi said that injections for one million doses of Iran’s flagship vaccine Coviran Barekat would begin within the next two weeks.