Barekat Covid-19 Vaccine Approved for Emergency Use

The health minister assured that inoculation is set to accelerate over this week and the next, resolving the problem of sluggish vaccine rollout
Barekat Covid-19 Vaccine Approved for Emergency Use
Barekat Covid-19 Vaccine Approved for Emergency Use

Barekat Pharmaceutical Group’s coronavirus vaccine became the first to receive emergency use authorization from Iran’s Health Ministry, bringing the outbreak-stricken country a step closer to mass vaccination. 
Health Minister Saeed Namaki announced on Monday that emergency approval for the use of the vaccine, dubbed COVIran Barekat, was granted a day earlier, IRNA reported.
The official noted that inoculation is set to accelerate over this week and the next, resolving the problem of sluggish vaccine rollout. “We had promised to issue authorization for local vaccines by the end of spring and we fulfilled that promise,” he added.
Barekat, developed by the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order, is administered in two doses with a 28-day gap.
According to Namaki, emergency approval for a second vaccine produced by Iran and Cuba was postponed to next week due to incomplete paperwork.
Pasteurcovac, jointly manufactured by Pasteur Institute of Iran and Cuba’s state-owned Finlay Institute of Vaccines, has finished phase three of human trials in Cuba. The last phase of clinical trials for the vaccine is still undergoing in several provinces across Iran. 
The health minister pointed out, “In the near future, Razi and Fakhra vaccines will be added to vaccines used in the national inoculation campaign.”
Razi, developed by Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, and Fakhra, manufactured by the Defense Ministry, are currently carrying out clinical trials.
“Iran’s target population will be immunized by the end of autumn as a result of the domestic capacity for vaccine production,” Namaki said.
Vaccine production output is expected to increase to ten million a month by the end of summer. Iran is planning to vaccinate its population of 80 million people by March 2022.



Short-Term Goals

Namaki said on Monday that 15 million Iranians will be vaccinated against the coronavirus by late July. 
“By the end of the government’s term, vulnerable groups including people over the age of 60, those with life-threatening disease and high-risk groups will have been vaccinated,” he added.
Pointing to the possibility of vaccine exports in the coming months, Namaki said, “I proudly proclaim that the Iranian vaccine is the safest and most effective vaccine in the world with the least amount of side effects.”
Iran began its vaccination program back in February using vaccines imported from Russia, China, South Korea, Italy and India. The campaign missed its targets due to shipment delays.
According to the minister, Iran has an agreement with China for the delivery of 20 million vaccines. Only one-fourth of that amount has arrived into the country.
“Iran had a deal with Russia for 69 million jabs, no more than one million has been delivered. We purchased vaccines from India but its attorney general blocked all exports,” Namaki said.
COVAX, a global initiative backed by the World Health Organization, has also failed to supply its commitment of 16.8 million AstraZeneca vaccines to Iran.
As of Monday, over 4.354 million have received the first shot of a coronavirus vaccine and some 851,000 have been fully vaccinated against the infectious disease, bringing the number of doses administered to 5.205 million. 

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