TEHRAN – Mass vaccination against COVID-19 will begin this week, with the priority given to medical staff, the elderly, and people with underlying diseases, President Hassan Rouhani announced on Saturday.
Statistics released last week showed that compliance with protocols has decreased to 81 percent, and this week’s report shows a 75 percent observance of health protocols, which will result in the increase of the disease prevalence, Rouhani lamented.
Meanwhile, Alireza Reisi, a spokesman for the National Headquarters for Coronavirus Control, has warned of a slight rise in coronavirus new cases in some provinces and announced that the medium-risk orange cities in the country have doubled.
“Fortunately, no cities are in high-risk “red” zones, but the orange cities have increased from 18 to 36, which is alarming,” he stated, adding, low-risk “yellow” cities have also reached up to 178, which was previously 130, and safe blue cities reduced from 306 to 234 cities.
To set restrictions on each area based on the virus incidence, the cities are divided into four levels of alert, namely red, orange, yellow and blue.
The first consignment of Sputnik V, the Russian-made vaccine for the coronavirus, was imported on Thursday.
Importing vaccine from COVAX, a global initiative to ensure rapid and equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines, is also on the agenda, Mohammad Reza Shanehsaz, head of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), said.
On January 27, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that there are four different ways to supply the coronavirus vaccine, including direct purchase from a foreign country, procurement from the World Health Organization’s COVAX facility, a joint production with a Cuban company as well as domestic production of the vaccine.
He emphasized that Iran will soon be one of the world’s important manufacturers of the COVID-19 vaccine.
COVIRAN BAREKAT, the first coronavirus vaccine made by Iranian researchers of the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, was unveiled and injected into three volunteers during a ceremony on December 29, 2020.
Meanwhile, Iran and Cuba have formed a ‘strategic alliance’ through working jointly on a project for producing a potential coronavirus vaccine.
COVID-19 daily new cases and mortalities
In a press briefing on Saturday, Health Ministry’s spokesperson Sima-Sadat Lari confirmed 6,983 new cases of COVID-19 infection, raising the total number of infections to 1,459,370. She added that 1,247,374 patients have so far recovered, but 3,825 remain in critical conditions of the disease.
During the past 24 hours, 76 patients have lost their lives, bringing the total number of deaths to 58,412, she added.
So far, 9,612,033 COVID-19 diagnostic tests have been performed in the country.
Lari noted that currently, 36 cities are in medium-risk “orange” zones, and 178 in low-risk “yellow” zones.
Original News : https://www.tehrantimes.com/news/457823/Iran-to-start-mass-vaccination-against-coronavirus-this-week