TEHRAN (Iran News) – Iran has unveiled a new COVID-19 vaccine developed by the Defense Ministry’s research center formerly headed by nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, who was assassinated in a suspected Israeli-linked terror attack late last year.
The first phase in the human trial of the vaccine, dubbed Fakhra, was launched during a ceremony in Tehran on Tuesday, with Defense Minister Brigadier General Amir Hatami and Health Minister Saeed Namaki in attendance.
Fakhra was named to commemorate Fakhrizadeh, who played a leading role in the vaccine project as the head of the Organization of Defensive Innovation and Research (SPND) prior to his assassination on November 27, 2020, near Tehran in a terrorist operation apparently linked to the Israeli regime.
The new Iranian COVID-19 vaccine was administered to the son of Fakhrizadeh.
The official in charge of the vaccine’s production said the research and development process began last March and it involved cell culture, inoculation, proliferation, isolation and purification, and inactivation and formulation.
Later, he added, the vaccine was tested on more than 650 animals from different species of mice, rabbits, guinea pigs, and monkeys.
The design and construction of a factory for the vaccine’s mass production have started, he said, expressing hope that it will enter the production phase in summer.
Speaking at Tuesday’s event, Namaki said in the spring, the Islamic Republic will become one of the most important and best vaccine manufacturers in the world.
He added that the Iran-Cuba COVID-19 vaccine is the first vaccine that will be mass-produced, followed by the CovIran Barekat, Razi COV-Pars and Fakhra vaccines, respectively.
“Today is a day of pride and reliance on indigenous knowledge. As an immunologist and the health minister, I testify that the method of producing vaccines in Iran is in accordance with the most scientific methods in the world…. The Fakhra vaccine’s tests on animal models have proven extremely effective and the human trials begin today,” Namaki said.
“I am proud to announce that the Islamic Republic, which has been under sanctions and subjected to oppression by those who deprived patients of medicine and lied, shines as one of the leading countries in the management of the coronavirus [pandemic] in the world,” he added.
In addition to developing domestic vaccines, Iran has imported reliable foreign vaccines.
So far, a total of 1,260,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines have been imported to the country from Russia, China, India, and Cuba, according to Alireza Raeisi, the spokesman for the National Headquarters for Managing and Fighting the Coronavirus.
Meanwhile, later the commander of the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps (IRGC) said that health defenders have worked honestly since the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Speaking at a ceremony honoring scientific elites and health defenders and unveiling the coronavirus rapid diagnosis kit held at Baqiyatallah University in Tehran, Major-General Hossein Salami added: “The devoted warriors of Iran in health created many honors in the last 2 years.”
IRGC Chief Commander said: “Today, it is a great honor to be among the defenders of health. Greetings to all the dear martyrs in the field of health in Iran, especially to my colleagues in Baqiyatallah Hospital.”
Major-General Salami said that the health defenders were at the forefront of the most difficult incident, but stood honestly and resisted.
Salami added that the Iranian Islamic system and nation have lived in the atmosphere of the possibility of war with Iran’s enemies for the past two years, but the resistance of health defenders has strengthened the Islamic system and the IRGC.
“Baqiyatallah University of Medical Sciences is the brand of the Islamic Revolution and it should be the most advanced university of medical sciences in the world in all fields, and this goal is achievable,” he highlighted.
- source : IRAN NEWS