The announcement came eight months after Supreme Leader Ayatollah
Ali Khamenei banned imports of vaccines made by the United States
and Britain - though Iran has since accepted vaccines developed by
Western firms but manufactured elsewhere.
President Ebrahim Raisi’s administration is under public pressure to
broaden its sources of vaccines as infections mount in its deadliest
“The Johnson & Johnson single-dose corona vaccine has been
approved,” the head of Iran's Food and Drug Administration, Mohammad
Reza Shanehsaz, was quoted as saying by Iranian media.
He did not say where the vaccine would be produced or refer to the
In January, Khamenei banned the government from importing COVID-19
vaccines from United States and Britain, saying both countries were
"untrustworthy”. He later said the ban was on vaccines made in those
On Thursday, Shanehsaz said Russia’s single-component Sputnik Light
vaccine had also been approved.
"Fortunately, the basket of the CORONA vaccines registered in Iran
has become very diverse and large,” he added.
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Iran is trying to speed up vaccinations by using
imported doses - including Sputnik V, India’s
Covaxin made by Bharat Biotech, and the
British-developed Oxford/AstraZeneca shot
produced by Russia’s R-Pharm group and
AstraZeneca-SKBio in South Korea. Iran also uses
its own COVIran Barakat shot.
The health ministry says 13 million out of a
population of 83 million have been fully
Health Minister Bahram Einollahi said on
Thursday that Iran had vaccinated 7.9 million
people over the past week, state media reported.
The ministry on Thursday reported 18,021 new
infections in the past 24 hours, bringing total
cases to 5,378,408 in Iran, the worst hit
country in the Middle East. There were 6,981
acute cases and deaths rose by 453 over the same
period to 116,072.
(email@example.com; Editing by
Andrew Heavens and Nick Macfie)
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