Nearly 22m Eligible Iranians Have Declined Covid Booster Jabs

Nearly 22m Eligible Iranians Have Declined Covid Booster Jabs
Nearly 22m Eligible Iranians Have Declined Covid Booster Jabs

Deputy Health Minister Kamal Heydari said on Wednesday that around 22 million Iranians over the age of 18 have declined to receive a Covid-19 booster shot.
“People have not welcomed the third booster shot…We’d expected to secure public health with timely vaccinations,” Heydari was quoted as saying by IRNA. 
The health official urged the public to get the third vaccine shot as soon as possible, warning that 90% of patients who suffered severe Omicron symptoms had not completed their vaccination. 
He said, “We ask those who haven’t received the booster shot to get it while vaccination centers are active and there’s sufficient vaccine supply.”
Iran began rolling out booster shots in September 2021 to further build immunity in those most vulnerable to the infectious disease. 
A few months later in late autumn, the Health Ministry made everyone over the age of 18 eligible for the booster dose to fend off the highly contagious Omicron variant spreading throughout the world. 
Iran has administered a total of 147.4 million doses since the start of the vaccination campaign in early 2021. 
Over 64 million Iranians have received a first dose, more than 57 million have gotten the second shot and some 26.4 million have been given the booster dose. 



Covid Surge Possible 

Epidemiologist Masoud Younesian pointed to rising daily cases of the coronavirus in an interview with ISNA and said that an upward trend is possible if numbers continue to rise over the next few days.
Data reported during the New Year holidays is not reliable, the official said, since many private and semi-private health clinics were closed and people are less prone to visit healthcare centers during off days. 
“Therefore, we’re still waiting to see what happens to the statistics over the next week,” Younesian stated. 
Asked about the nationwide reopening of schools and universities, he said, “I’m extremely concerned. They should’ve waited two weeks after the end of holidays to see if there’s a Covid surge.”
The New Year holidays began on March 20 and lasted until this Saturday, during which millions of Iranians crisscrossed the country and held family gatherings after two years of mostly following social distancing rules. 
A few days into the holidays, the National Coronavirus Headquarters announced the mandatory reopening of all schools and universities without imposing any social distancing measures. 
“I hope nothing bad happens,” Younesian said. 

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