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Iranian, Russian Presidents Discuss Anti-Covid Measures

By Orkhan Jalilov September 15, 2021

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The production of Russia's Sputnik V vaccine under license started in Iran in June 2021. / Atorus.ru

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin recently discussed cooperation in curbing the spread of Covid-19.

In a telephone conversation on September 14, Putin stressed the importance of continuing Moscow's cooperation with Tehran in fighting Covid-19, as well as the joint production of the Sputnik V vaccine.

Raisi said that Iran is "pursuing the development and deepening of cooperation between the two countries in all dimensions."

The Iranian president echoed his Russian counterpart's statements and said that "this cooperation should continue powerfully until the complete eradication of this global disease."

On September 15, the Iranian Health Ministry reported 19,731 new Covid-19 cases and 452 deaths in the last 24 hours. Iran has now registered 5,360,387 cases and 115,619 deaths. The daily death toll in the Islamic Republic has fluctuated between 400 and 500 for the last five days. The record for the daily number of deaths stands at 709, while the highest daily figure for new cases is 50,228.

Iran approved the use of Russia’s Sputnik V on January 25. Iran said in April it had agreed with Russia to purchase 62 million doses of Sputnik V, but only 2 million doses have been delivered.

The production of the Sputnik V vaccine under license started in Iran in June. Iran is among more than 60 countries, including Germany, Italy, Spain, India, China, South Korea, and Brazil, that produce the Russian vaccine under license.

So far, over 18 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines have been administered in Iran. Some 12 million were China’s Sinopharm vaccine; 4 million were the Oxford–AstraZeneca vaccine; and one million were COVIran Barekat, developed by the Iranian state-owned Shifa Pharmed Industrial Group in Tehran. The remainder include doses of Russia’s Sputnik V and India’s Covaxin.

Iran's Health Minister Bahram Einollah said on September 14 that Iran is scheduled to import 40 million more doses of Covid-19 vaccines by the end of October. The country’s total imports of Covid-19 vaccine are expected to top 90 million doses by October 22.

In addition to imports of vaccines, the new government has issued the necessary permits for the production of five domestically-developed vaccines, the health minister added.

Head of the Iranian Red Crescent Society Karim Hemmati announced on September 11 that Iran is scheduled to import some 10 million doses of Covid-19 vaccine soon to vaccinate students aged 12 -18.