TEHRAN – The CovIran Barekat vaccine, Iran’s first indigenous answer for the COVID-19 virus, is highly effective against the highly contagious disease, the Shafa Pharmed pharmaceutical complex said.
The vaccine has so far cleared two phases of trial and is going through a third. It was administered to 88 people in the first phase, and 280 in the second one. The volunteers’ ages ranged between 18 and 75.
Now, as part of the third phase, as many as 20,000 volunteers are receiving the jab.
The report by Shafa Pharmed pharmaceutical complex was released to inform the public about the vaccine’s curative qualities before the results are published in world-class scientific journals, it said.
The first phase saw some of the participants administered with two vaccine doses, a three-milligram dose and a five-milligram one, and the rest getting two doses of placebo.
According to the report, the participants’ blood tests from the first phase did not show any abnormal changes.
All the reported side effects were minor with the exception of one case of hypotension (drop in blood pressure), a case of headache, and only two cases of infection with the virus, one before the administration of the second dose and another after its administration.
The group also reported a case of drop in blood platelets that the respective volunteer recovered from without medical intervention.
Only 12 people among 280 volunteers contracted the virus during the second phase trials.
All the cases emerged before the administration of the second dose, with the exception of two cases in the placebo group.
So far during the third phase, 2,000 people among the 20,000-strong pool of volunteers have received their two doses of either vaccine or placebo.
The side effects that have been reported so far have all been rated as minor.
Only 63 people reported cases of complication, and that was before they were supposed to receive the second dose. Fifty-four volunteers were outpatients, just nine needing hospitalization.
The nine volunteers are recovering from their conditions, the report said, adding that the cases of hospitalization have included non-viral instances too, such as trauma resulting from bone fracture.
Also on Monday, the Health Ministry said the country had been authorized to start emergency use of COVIran Barekat.
The report reflecting the Islamic Republic’s success in developing the domestic remedy comes as the country keeps suffering from the United States’ illegal and unilateral sanctions. Not only have the bans prevented Iran from obtaining medicine from foreign sources, but also they have come in the way of its accessing its financial resources overseas.
Iran is also running tests on two more homegrown cures, named Razi COV-Pars and Iran Fakhra.