Iran receives 1st consignment of Cuba-made COVID-19 vaccines
Iran has received the first shipment of Cuba’s coronavirus vaccine, developed in cooperation between Tehran and Havana in spite of the unilateral US sanctions imposed on both countries.
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The first consignment of the Cuban vaccines arrived at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport on Thursday afternoon, Tasnim News Agency reported.
The vaccine shipment contained 100,000 doses of Soberana-2, Cuba’s flagship vaccine to tackle COVID-19.
Kianoush Jahanpour, the spokesman of Iran Food and Drug Administration (IFDA), said via Twitter that the consignment of Soberana-2 vaccine was sent from Cuba to Tehran for phase three of its joint clinical trial by Iran’s Pasteur Institute and Cuba's Finlay Institute.
In another tweet on Thursday, Jahanpour said the Soberana-2 vaccine is headed for 48 centers in Havana and five centers in Iran, in order to give the first shot of two to 100,000 residents of both countries in the phase three of the trial.
According to Finlay Institute Director General Vicente Verez, phase three of Soberana-2’s clinical trial started in Havana on March 4.
Back in January, Iran and Cuba signed an agreement to cooperate in the coronavirus vaccine project with the use of a technology that will be transferred to Iran by the Cuban government.
The US sanctions have hampered Iran’s access to medical equipment and medicines and complicated the process of importing vaccines from abroad, making the country one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
“By cooperating with Cuba on its ‘Soberana,’ which means ‘sovereign’ in Spanish, Iran is sending the message that it will not be crippled or coerced and that it will continue to pursue independence – the beating heart of Iran's national narrative,” TRT World quoted Ghoncheh Tazmini, Iranian geopolitics expert and London School of Economics Research Fellow, as saying earlier this week.
Iran recorded 88 new deaths related to the coronavirus on Thursday, raising the death toll of the deadly virus to 61,016.
Meanwhile, Iran has already taken delivery of three batches of Russia’s Sputnik V vaccines, a batch of Sinopharm jabs developed in China, and a batch of COVAXIN vaccines developed in India.