Iran's Supreme Leader receives COVID-19 vaccine

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei receives single dose of locally made COVIran Barekat vaccine.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Ayatollah Ali Khamenei
Reuters

Iran's Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Friday received the first dose of a domestically produced coronavirus vaccine, AFP reported.

The 81-year-old cleric's Twitter feed published a video it said showed him "receiving the first dose of the #IranianCovidVaccine that has been developed by young Iranian scientists".

The footage shows Khamenei wearing a surgical mask and a black turban, sitting under a picture of the Islamic Republic's founder Ayatollah Rouhollah Khomeini, as two male medics tend to him, injecting him in the left arm.

State television broadcast the same scene, saying Khamenei had received a single dose of the COVIran Barekat jab, developed by a powerful state-owned foundation known as Setad.

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.

COVIran Barekat is one of several homegrown vaccines developed in Iran, though the effectiveness of those is not known. The country has also imported foreign vaccines from Russia, China, India and Cuba to cover over 1.2 million people.

Iran’s President-elect Ebrahim Raisi vowed this week that his government would start rapid COVID-19 vaccinations in the country.



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