Nondescript COVID-19 vaccine
Nondescript COVID-19 vaccine iStock

Iran has returned 820,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines donated by Poland because they were manufactured in the United States, The Associated Press reported Monday.

According to the report, which cited Iranian state TV, Mohammad Hashemi, an official in the country’s Health Ministry, said that Poland donated about a million doses of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine to Iran.

“But when the vaccines arrived in Iran, we found out that 820,000 doses of them which were imported from Poland were from the United States,” he added.

Hashemi said “after coordination with the Polish ambassador to Iran, it was decided that the vaccines would be returned.”

Iran has for months wrestled with the worst outbreak in the Middle East of COVID-19. Last year, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei banned the country from importing American Pfizer-BioNTech and Britain's AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines, and also said that he is "not optimistic (about) France" either.

Iran generally uses the China-made Sinopharm vaccine as well as the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine.

The Islamic Republic has also used its domestically produced COVIran Barekat vaccine, though there is no data on its safety or efficacy.