Razi Institute Vaccine Supply Enhanced

Razi Institute Vaccine Supply EnhancedRazi Institute Vaccine Supply Enhanced

The deal between Iran and the world powers in July 2015 to end sanctions has enabled the import of raw materials for production of vaccines directly from European countries, reducing costs by 15%, according to the Razi Serum and Vaccine Research Institute (RSVRI).

Each year, 300 tons of precursors for vaccine production are imported. 

“Earlier, the raw materials were purchased from dealers such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but now this is not necessary,” as the deals are made directly with the manufacturing country, Hamid Kahrom, head of the institute said Tuesday, IRNA reported. 

 “With the end of sanctions, we are also able to export serum and vaccine to other countries. The UK Health Department has decided to import anti-snake and anti-scorpion venom (ASV) serums from Iran, and contacts in this regard have been initiated,” Kahrom said. 

Domestic demand for antidotes is high, said Nasser Mohammadpour, a board member at the institute. In 2013, around 40,000 vials were required and the number has increased to 80,000 at present.

Iran is the second country in the world with the highest variety of snakes as well as the highest number of snakebites, but fatalities from snake bites are rare due to the high-quality of anti-venoms produced in the county. There are more than 61 species of snakes in Iran, of which 21 are venomous. 

Also annually, 7,000-10,000 vials of anti-venom are exported. Each vial contains 10 ml antidote and costs $52.

Mohammadpour noted that extraction of venom from rare snakes by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute (RVSRI) has not endangered the species because after the venom samples are extracted in their natural habitats the reptiles are released again into the wild.

  Vaccine Production

He also pointed to the memorandums of understanding recently signed between Iran and other countries for exchange of technology in vaccine production. “This year that ends in March, we have signed a MoU with South Korea’s KBNP Company for joint production of Newcastle Vaccine.

Newcastle disease is an infection of domestic poultry and other bird species with the virulent Newcastle disease virus (NDV).

“Another MoU was signed with an Indian vaccine production company, by which RVSRI will transfer its latest vaccine production methods to the company.” 

Kahrom further said the institute makes more than three billion doses of different human, poultry and livestock vaccines and from among the nine mandatory vaccines in national immunization program, seven are produced by RSVRI. The seven vaccines include polio, measles, rubella, mumps, diphtheria, tetanus, and whooping cough. 

“Also, 90% of the domestic requirement of livestock vaccines is produced by the institute and the rest is imported by the private sector.” 

Till the previous year, vaccines for FMD (foot and mouth disease) were imported. But since the beginning of the year the vaccine is produced by RSVRI. 

FMD is a severe and highly contagious viral disease of livestock with significant economic costs. The disease affects cattle, sheep, and goats, and other cloven-hoofed ruminants. 

RVSRI is one of the oldest and most reputed scientific centers in Iran. The institute began its activities in 1925 by producing vaccine against Rinderpest under the supervision of the Ministry of Agriculture. Rinderpest at the time had caused large casualties in the cattle population.

The institute is now supervised by the Agriculture Ministry and works closely with the Health Ministry and Iran Veterinary Organization. An acclaimed center of research, training and technical assistance for vaccine production, it is governed by a board of trustees and has its headquarters in Karaj, Alborz Province.

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