Iran announces production of local COVID-19 vaccine

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TEHRAN, Iran

Iran on Sunday announced the start of production of a local coronavirus vaccine as it entered Phase 3 of human trials, the semi-official Fars news agency reported.

According to a statement by Mohammad Mokhber, the head of Iran’s scientific committee to combat COVID-19, one million doses of the local COV-Iran Barekat vaccine will be delivered to the Iranian Health Ministry within one month.

He said a further 3 to 3.5 million doses of the local vaccine will be produced by June, with production to reach 50 million doses by the end of September.

A second local Iranian vaccine, COV-Pars, entered the human trials phase on Feb. 28 on 133 volunteers, and a second phase of clinical trials will begin in early June with 500 volunteers.

As of Sunday, Iran’s tally of infections surged to nearly 2.38 million, including 69,120 deaths.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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