Tehran [Iran], November 26 (ANI/Sputnik): Iran is planning to get 41 million doses of the vaccine against the coronavirus disease via different channels for about 20 million people, the country's health and medical education minister, Saeed Namaki, said on Wednesday.
According to Namaki, Iran has arranged three ways to obtain the COVID-19 vaccine.
"The first [way] is through the purchase of a vaccine from COVAX [COVID-19 Vaccine Global Access Facility]. This is the import of 16.8 million doses via COVAX, which covers about 10 percent of our population -- 8.4 million people," Namaki said on air via the IRINN broadcaster.
The minister added that Iran was working on getting 5.5 million doses under a joint production agreement with a pharmaceutical companies.
The country will also get about 20 million doses from another international manufacturer.
"As a result, we are preparing about 41-42 million doses of the vaccine for 20-21 million people," Namaki said, adding that a coronavirus vaccine consisted of two doses to develop antibodies.
The health minister also mentioned the third way of getting the vaccine, which is domestic production. According to Namaki, four of 12 Iranian companies working on the COVID-19 vaccine have well advanced in their research. Despite media reports about the start of human trials, the minister noted that those would begin the next week, while a vaccine would be available in a few months.
Earlier in November, Iran introduced a new COVID-19 response plan, which envisions dividing the country according to the infection rate into orange, yellow and red zones, and the introduction of different restrictions, including a curfew.
Iran, the hardest-hit Middle Eastern country amid the pandemic, has so far confirmed over 894,000 coronavirus cases, including more than 46,000 deaths. (ANI/Sputnik)