Iran became the first country in the Middle East to manufacture Sputnik V on its territory, with the production of doses of the Russian serum by one of the main pharmaceutical companies. This vaccine has already been administered in the country since February.
Iranian pharmaceutical company Actoverco has produced test doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine against Covid-19, the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) announced on June 26. Iran is the first country in the Middle East to manufacture the vaccine on its territory, said Kirill Dmitriev, the director of the forum, adding that it would help speed up vaccinations without increasing logistics costs.
Photos from today’s #SputnikV production launch at Actoverco’s facility in Karaj. Iran’s leading pharma manufacturer has an agreement with Russian Direct Investment Fund to make the vaccine. pic.twitter.com/Mi0E9oiqDI
– Sputnik V (@sputnikvaccine) June 26, 2021
“RDIF and Actoverco actively cooperate for the sharing of technological processes […] Sputnik V is already playing an important role in protecting the country’s population against the coronavirus, and local production will help support Iran’s fight against the pandemic, ”Kirill Dmitriev said, quoted by ANI and Reuters agencies. According to RDIF, Sputnik V has already been registered in 67 countries, covering a total population of more than 3.5 billion people.
Iran approved Sputnik V in the country in January, starting vaccination in February, before announcing in April that it wanted to produce it on its soil. Tehran has also developed its own vaccine, COVIran Barakat, developed by the Imam Order Foundation. The country’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei received on June 25 a first injection of the serum, which has yet to receive marketing authorization from Iranian authorities, although Tehran said on June 14 that it had approved the use of the vaccine in some cases.
4.4 million Iranians vaccinated
In January, the Ayatollah banned the import of Covid-19 vaccines manufactured in the United States and the United Kingdom, believing that these could be used to “contaminate” his country. At the same time, on January 8, the Finlay Institute in Cuba signed an agreement with the Pasteur Institute in Iran to test on Persian soil the efficacy of the Soberana 2 vaccine, produced in Cuba. Iran has also approved India’s Covaxin vaccine, China’s Sinopharm, and ultimately the Swedish-British AstraZeneca vaccine, although Ali Khamenei has previously called Western products “unreliable.”
According to the health ministry, more than 4.4 million out of 83 million Iranians have received at least a first dose of the vaccine since the vaccination campaign began in February.