Iran starts nationwide COVID vaccination

TEHRAN, Feb. 09 (MNA) – In a ceremony on Tuesday, Iran started nationwide COVID-19 vaccination using the Sputnik V vaccine.

In a ceremony held in Imam Khomeini Hospital of Tehran and several other centers across the country, the vaccination started with the order of Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

In a video-conference speech, Rouhani said he had been ready to be the first person to be vaccinated and assured the Iranian nation that officials of the country are always ready to get first shots of any vaccine used in the country.

The first person that received the jab today was the son of Health Minister Saeed Namaki. 

Priorities for this phase of vaccination are health workers in ICU centers of hospitals across Iran.

According to Health Ministry officials, some 1.3 million Iranians will be vaccinated against the virus by the end current [Iranian calendar] year (March 20). The next group of people that will receive the jabs after ICU personnel and health workers of COVID-19 sections of hospitals are the elderly and people with disabilities.

Speaking in the ceremony, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said that the vaccination program started today in 635 centers nationwide. He said that next shipments of vaccines will gradually enter the country, adding that the works on home-made vaccines are also proceeding well and they may enter the mass production phase as soon as spring.

Iran received the first shipment of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine on Saturday and is also to receive nearly four million doses of vaccine from the COVAX program.

MAH/5142837

News Code 169724

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