Wed, 03 Mar 2021

TEHRAN, Jan. 17 (Xinhua) -- A senior Iranian health official said on Sunday that Iran has purchased 16.8 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine from COVAX, the state TV reported.

Alireza Raisi, the spokesman for the Iranian National Headquarters for Combating the Coronavirus, said that "we have paid 52 million U.S. dollars to buy 16.8 million doses of the COVAX vaccine for 8.4 million people."

The vaccines from the COVAX, which is co-led by Gavi, the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations and the World Health Organization, are expected to arrive in two months, Raisi said.

Raisi added that this amount of vaccines would help to meet the need for vaccination before producing the required amount of vaccines in the country.

He also announced the possibility of the arrival of 2.6 million doses of vaccines from Russia and China.

"If we receive this amount of vaccines from Russia and China, it will be possible to the start vaccination before the end of this (Iranian) year," which ends on 20 March, he said.

Iran started human trials of a domestic vaccine on Dec. 29.

Iran's total number of COVID-19 cases climbed by 6,016 to 1,330,411 on Sunday, while its death toll from the deadly pandemic rose by 86 to 56,803, said Sima Sadat Lari, the spokeswoman for Iranian Ministry of Health and Medical Education.

A total of 1,119,137 people in Iran have recovered from the disease, while 4,374 remained in intensive care units, she said.

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