Coviran Vaccine Enters First Stage of Human Trial
IRAN NEWS NATIONAL DESK
TEHRAN – Iran has begun the first phase in the human trial of the homegrown COVID-19 vaccine after successfully completing the initial steps, including tests on animals, and obtaining necessary approvals.
The vaccine, produced by Iranian experts at the Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam Khomeini, was administered to three volunteers at a ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday, the first of them being Tayyebeh Mokhber, the daughter of the organization’s CEO Mohammad Mokhber.
It is dubbed Coviran Barekat after the pharmaceutical group that developed the vaccine against the coronavirus pandemic.
Speaking on the sidelines of the ceremony to launch the vaccine trial, Health Minister Saeed Namaki said, “Today is one of the most promising days for the Iranian nation.”
“It is a day when we could fortunately make the first injection on humans following a long period of efforts on the part of the country’s leading scientists in the field of technology and biotech, who produced the COVID-19 vaccine after various stages, including animal studies and models,” he added.
“We have been producing vaccines in the country for a hundred years. Pasteur Institute of Iran was set up in 1920 and Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute was founded in 1924,” Namaki said on the sidelines of the unveiling ceremony of the vaccine and the first phase of the clinical trial of Iranian-made COVID-19 vaccine on 56 volunteers.
“We were the first producer of vaccines in Asia and we have sent vaccines to many countries in the world,” he added.
“Due to our record in vaccine production, we are trying to offer new vaccines with the help of the Science and Technology Vice-Presidency, knowledge-based companies, the Pasteur Institute of Iran, the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute and the private sector,” the minister noted.
“We have developed various platforms for coronavirus, including the vaccine, the first human phase of which was performed today,” Namaki said, and added, “Another platform is also underway at Razi Institute, and its animal tests are underway and will soon receive a human testing license.”
“We hope that we will soon see the start of the second human trial phase of this national vaccine and then the third phase to be followed by its mass production,” he continued.
A total of 56 volunteers would receive two shots administered 14 days apart in the first human trial of the Iranian vaccine and the results will be announced 28 days later.
The vaccine is of the inactivated type, which is made of a virus that is weakened or killed by chemicals.
Mokhber said that in addition to the Coviran Barekat vaccine, the Headquarters for Executing the Order of Imam Khomeini is following the vaccine production through six other ways.
“From the next two or three weeks, we are ready to produce 1.5 million doses of the coronavirus vaccine in Iran monthly,” he said.
“The equipment required for the production of the coronavirus vaccine in Iran has entered the country and we can reach the production level of 12 million in the near future thanks to the support provided by the Health Ministry and the country’s zealous scientists,” he said.
Iranian scientists have been among the frontrunners in the international race to develop safe and effective vaccines aimed at stopping the spread of the highly-infectious respiratory disease.
Tehran said last month that eight of the vaccines it is formulating locally against COVID-19 had made their way onto the World Health Organization (WHO)’s list of 48 promising candidate vaccines.
In parallel with efforts at developing home-made vaccines, Iranian authorities have said the county has plans to pre-purchase foreign brands that pass safety and efficiency tests.