Iran to receive Russian COVID vaccine

Iran's to receive first batch of Russia's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by February 4, with more batches to follow.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

COVID-19 vaccine
COVID-19 vaccine

Iran's ambassador to Russia said on Saturday that his country expects to receive the first batch of Moscow's Sputnik V coronavirus vaccine by February 4, AFP reported.

"A contract for the purchase and joint production was signed yesterday between Iran and Russia," said the ambassador, Kazem Jalali.

Two more batches are to be delivered by February 18 and 28, he added, without specifying quantities.

Iran’s Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, recently banned the country from importing of American Pfizer-BioNTech and Britain's Astrazeneca COVID-19 vaccines, saying they are "forbidden".

The Russian vaccine, however, is not banned in Iran, and Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced earlier this week it had been approved by the Islamic Republic.

Iran has for months wrestled with the worst outbreak in the Middle East of COVID-19.

In a clear sign of the scale of the outbreak, dozens of top officials have fallen ill. At least 30 lawmakers have tested positive in recent months and some have died.

High-profile deaths in Iran from the coronavirus include a member of the council advising the Ayatollah, a former ambassador, a newly-elected member of parliament, an adviser to Zarif and a re-elected member of parliament.