As COVID-19 cases in parts of Iran surge again, the Islamic Republic pushes forward with holding religious gatherings and “Shaban 15 celebrations.” The regime also permits all inter-city traveling and has mandated in-person classes in universities and schools. In the meantime, low vaccination rate, especially for the 3rd dose, has caused major concern among health experts. A health official from Mashhad, the second major city in the country, said more than 1 million eligible have ignored to receive their 3rd shot and called it “a danger for the society!”
On the other hand, Deputy Health Minister in Public Health announced 3rd dose for 12-18 year olds, 4th and 5th dose for people who want to travel outside the country and their destination country needs different vaccines from the ones they had received in Iran! He said they will need to sign a waiver for any liability for the government. However, none of the recognized vaccines, Moderna, Pfizer or AstraZeneca are not available in the country, at least officially. Most recently, the regime rejected hundreds of thousands of AstraZeneca from Hungry and the ones it had received have mostly expired or sold in the black market.
The Islamic Republic “Supreme Leader” banned the reliable US and UK made vaccines, leading to tsunami of deaths during Delta wave. Khamenei promoted his foundation’s shot, COVIran Barekat, which failed miserably. Multiple “homegrown” vaccines, including PastoCoVac, COVPars, Fakhra, Noora, Spikogen, never met the expectations and none of them has published their results or received recognition/approval from international health organizations.
According to official definition of “full vaccination” and Ministry of Health data, since February 9, only 24,682,293 (29.38% of Iran population) are vaccinated against COVID-19 with these vaccines. It is estimated that more than 53 million Iranians are at risk of contracting Omicron. The majority of shots used in Iran are the ineffective Sinopharm and COVIran Barekat. WHO recommends 3 doses of Sinopharm to be effective against Delta but studies have found the vaccine ineffective against Omicron.
The Ministry of Health Spokesperson claimed 139 have died of COVID-19 in the past 24 hours and 6,424 tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Number of daily tests performed in the country continue to decline despite experts advice to have a more active case finding. Professor of Epidemiology at Tehran University believes these numbers must be multiplied by 7 and Civil Registration Organization data show more than 324,000 have died of the disease since February 2020.
Total: 7,113,591 (+6,424)
Dead: 138,572 (+139)
Critical: 3,176 (-89)
Active Cases: 213,127 (-1,373)
Total Tests: 48,036,013
Cover: Mahdi Marizad