TEHRAN -- Iran on Sunday started the third phase of the human trial of its second homegrown coronavirus vaccine, Razi Cov Pars, less than a week after Health Minister Bahram Einollahi said accelerating the pace of vaccination against COVID-19 is the top priority of the new administration.
Muhammad Hussein Fallah Mehrabadi, vice president for research and technology affairs at the parent Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute and spokesman for the project, said the phase will be carried out in Tehran and Alborz provinces with the participation of some 40,000 volunteers.
People aged 18 or older, who have not contracted the coronavirus, are eligible to take part in the trial, he said.
According to Fallah Mehrabadi, the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute produced 400,000 doses of the vaccine last month. The minister hoped that his institute would manufacture another one million doses by the next weekend.
“According to our estimates, we will be able to produce between 15 and 20 million doses [of Razi Cov Pars vaccine] by the end of the current year,” he said.
Razi Cov Pars is a recombinant protein subunit vaccine containing the COVID-19 spike protein. It reportedly tutors the immune system against the virus by producing antibodies.
The vaccine includes three doses. The first two doses are said to be injectable, whilst the third dose is intranasal.
The second dose of the vaccine will be injected into volunteers 21 after the first inoculation, and the third dose will be inhaled 51 days later.
Last Wednesday, Einollahi wrote on his Twitter account that the campaign against the coronavirus and vaccination is a priority of the new Iranian administration.
He added that imports of coronavirus vaccines will be accelerated within the next few weeks, calling on the people to help the health ministry speed up the process of vaccination.
On June 27, Iran’s homegrown recombinant Noora vaccine, produced by Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences, was put on display during a ceremony in Tehran in the presence of Chief Commander of the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) Major General Hussein Salami, Iran’s former health minister Saeed Namaki as well as other Iranian health officials.
Iran has also successfully completed the first phase of the human trial for FAKHRAVAC COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research.
It is the third Iranian COVID-19 vaccine reaching clinical trials, currently in the second phase.
FAKHRAVAC is an inactivated virus-based vaccine, and apparently requires two doses given by intramuscular injection 14 days apart.
On June 25, Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei received his first dose of the CovIran Barekat vaccine, which was approved for emergency mass application by the country’s Health Ministry earlier that month.
On Sunday, the Health Ministry said the number of coronavirus patients is declining.
The ministry said it had detected 25,870 new cases in the past 24 hours, including 3,430 patients admitted to hospital, taking overall infections to 5,129,400.
It also reported 610 deaths during the period, that raised Iran’s death toll to 110,674.
Iran is to ramp up vaccinations against the coronavirus after taking delivery of a large cargo of Sinopharm shots from China.
The Iranian customs office (IRICA) said on Saturday
the Yemeni armed forces repeatedly warned Saudi Arabia to stop the war and siege against the country or face larger and more extensive operations.
In recent months, Yemeni forces have stepped up their retaliatory attacks deep inside Saudi Arabia.
In his Sunday remarks, Saree said the new operation succeeded in achieving its goals, warning “the Saudi enemy of the consequences of its continued aggression against our dear and steadfast and fighting people”.
“Yemeni armed forces affirm their legitimate right to carry out more military operations in defense of Yemen and our great people,” he added.
Last month, UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator Martin Griffiths said that about 5 million Yemenis were “just one step away” from succumbing to famine and related diseases.
“Ten million more are right behind them,” Griffiths warned.
According to Henrietta Fore, the executive director of UNICEF, one child dies every 10 minutes in Yemen from preventable causes, including malnutrition and vaccine-preventable diseases, which are the ramifications of the war on Yemen.
The spokesman for Yemen’s Ansarullah resistance movement on Sunday affirmed the Yemeni people’s right to defend themselves so long as Saudi Arabia insists on continuing the war.
“Just as they insist on continuing their aggression and siege, our Yemeni people continue to defend themselves,” Muhammad Abdul-Salam tweeted.
He congratulated the Yemeni armed forces for their new deterrence operation which targeted the depth of the invading countries.
“Our operations are legitimate and come in compliance with the defensive position of the besieged and abused Yemeni people,” he said, stressing that the operations will expand and escalate.
The latest operation against Saudi Arabia coincided with the liberation of the southern district of Rahba district by the Yemeni army and allied popular committees.
A security official in Ma’rib province told Yemen News Agency (SABA) that all the residents of Rahba can return to their homes and farms and practice their normal lives after the district was completely secured by Yemeni forces.