Domestic Economy

Over 40m Doses of Covid-19 Vaccines Imported to Iran So Far

Over 40m Doses of Covid-19 Vaccines Imported to Iran So Far
Over 40m Doses of Covid-19 Vaccines Imported to Iran So Far

A total of 40.29 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines in 46 shipments were imported via Imam Khomeini International Airport from Feb. 3 to Sept. 5, 2021, according to the latest announcement of Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
According to this report, 648,000 doses of AstraZeneca vaccines were imported on Sept. 4, along with 5 million doses of Sinopharm on Sept. 5.
A total of 31.64 million doses of Sinopharm in 26 shipments, 5.32 million doses of AstraZeneca in six shipments, 2.15 million doses of COVAX in two shipments, 1.05 million doses of Sputnik V in 11 shipments and 125,000 of Indian vaccine Bharat (aka COVAXIN) in a single shipment were imported during the period.
A total of 4.6 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines arrived in Iran on 238 pallets weighing 73 tons on Sept. 3, the largest coronavirus shipment imported so far, according to the technical deputy of the Islamic Republic of Iran Customs Administration.
“The new imported vaccines are Chinese-made Sinopharm,” Mehrdad Jamal Orounaqi was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
“One hundred million doses of Covid-19 vaccines will have been imported to Iran by the end of 2021 as per contracts signed with international manufacturers,” Nasser Riahi, the chairman of Iranian Pharmaceutical Importers Association, told IRNA recently.
The private sector representative referred to Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access, abbreviated as COVAX, as a vaccine-sharing program coordinated by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization to ensure the equitable distribution of vaccines for poor and middle-income countries.
Riahi said Iran’s share of COVAX-supplied doses is estimated to stand at 16.8 million for 25% of the population. 
“Iran needs to purchase vaccines developed by Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna supplied by COVAX via the World Health Organization due to banking issues. The country pays its financial commitments to WHO that pays the vaccine manufacturers,” he said.
“Pfizer-BioNTech, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies are ready to send 20 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines to Iran each, but such imports might take months due to restrictions regarding temperature requirements for shipping and storage.” 
Riahi noted that contracts were signed for importing 30-50 million doses of Sputnik V vaccine from Russia, but the neighboring country failed to deliver on its promises.  
“Fifty million doses of Sinopharm Covid-19 vaccine are expected to be imported from China, half of which has been received so far. Vaccine imports from South Korea and China will continue. A part of Bharat Biotech’s vaccines scheduled to be purchased from India could not be imported due to certain problems while imports of AstraZeneca’s vaccines are ongoing from different countries,” he said.   
Noting that at present the private sector is not carrying out vaccine import, Riahi said private sector companies are ready to import vaccines on a not-for-profit basis and with the license issued by the Health Ministry to deliver them to the government at the airport, or put them at the disposal of companies that are willing to vaccinate their staff members. 
“The private sector has imported 2 million doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccines so far. I’m asking the new health minister to change current conditions in order to facilitate transactions and accelerate vaccine imports,” he concluded. 

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