Iran expects 250,000 doses of vaccine from China

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TEHRAN, IRAN (AP) — Iran’s Health Ministry says the country expects to receive 250,000 doses of the Sinopharm vaccine from China on Saturday.

Alireza Raisi, deputy health minister, says the country will receive doses of other vaccines, including from India, in the “near future” as the country struggles to fight the worst outbreak of the pandemic in the Middle East.

This month, Iran imported 120,000 doses of the Sputnik V vaccine from Russia. Reports have said Iran has purchased a total of 2 million doses.

Iran in December began human trials on the first vaccine manufactured in the country, which is expected to be distributed in the spring. The country is also working on a joint vaccine with Cuba.

Iran plans to import some 17 million doses of vaccine from the international COVAX program and millions more from individual countries.

Health Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari put Iran’s death toll from COVID-19 at 59,980 after 81 more died from the disease since Friday. Lari said 7,975 new confirmed cases have brought the total to more than 1.6 million in a country with a population of more than 83 million.

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