Heavy-Hit Iran to Import Vaccines in Coming Weeks
Iranian President Hassan Rouhani on Saturday said “foreign” coronavirus vaccinations will arrive and be administered to millions of Iranians in the coming weeks, admitting his nation’s effort of developing a safe homegrown shot would take more time. “Foreign vaccines are a necessity until local vaccines are available,” Rouhani said, as the Islamic Republic, the Middle Eastern country hit hardest by the virus, notched a seven-month low in COVID-19 deaths following weeks of near-total lockdown. In the past few weeks, both Rouhani and Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei stressed Iran would not import any inoculations developed in Western countries, such as the Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca shots already being shipped and used worldwide. That would leave the isolated nation with the Russian-developed Sputnik V, approved by only a handful of countries outside of Russia, or the less effective Chinese jab. Iran has so far recorded over 1.3 million cases and about 57,500 deaths, according to government data, sustaining a noticeable decline in infections in recent weeks.