Developed by Cuba’s Finlay Vaccine Institute and Pasteur Institute of Iran, the vaccine is a conjugate vaccine with two injectable doses. It consists of the receptor-binding domain of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein conjugated chemically to tetanus toxoid.
The two first phases of the human trial have been conducted in Cuba, while the third phase is underway with 24,000 volunteers in Iran and 44,000 volunteers in Cuba.
In Iran, it was performed on a population of 18 to 80 years in seven provinces and eight cities across the country, Alireza Biglari, director of the Pasture Institute of Iran, said.
He expressed hope to analyze the preliminary results in late June in order to obtain a license for mass production.
This is the first vaccine to have a booster dose, and it is a great help to evaluate the results of human trials. Evidence shows that a booster dose will greatly increase immunity, he explained.
Mass vaccination against COVID-19 started on Iranian citizens with the Russian-made Sputnik V vaccine on February 9.
While Iran continues efforts to mass-produce local candidates, several foreign vaccines have already been imported and others are expected soon.
Iran is also producing vaccines jointly with three countries of Cuba, Russia, and Australia, which may also be released by September.
Vaccination to end by late November
President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday that If the volume of COVID-19 vaccine required by the country is provided, the vaccination of people with underlying diseases will be completed by late July, and the whole population will be vaccinated by late November.
To vaccinate people with underlying diseases, about 14-15 million doses of vaccine is required, while we now have 5 million doses, so another 10 million must be provided to complete the process by the end of July, then we will continue the process with foreign and domestic vaccines, he explained.
He expressed hope to start vaccination of the whole population by the end of the summer (September 23), noting that given the country’s ability of vaccine administration, vaccinating 500,000 people in 24 hours, the entire population can receive the vaccine within three to four months.
Five homegrown vaccines
COVIRAN BAREKAT, the first coronavirus vaccine made by researchers at the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam, will complete the third phase of the human trial by late June.
The vaccine was unveiled on December 29, 2020, and started to be mass-produced on March 29.
Meanwhile, a vaccine developed by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute (Razi Cov Pars) is expected to become the second Iranian-made vaccine to be administered among the population in early August; which started the clinical trial on February 27, entered the second phase of the human trial on Friday.
Iran has also successfully completed the first phase of the human trial for Fakhra vaccine, the third domestically developed COVID-19 vaccine, named after nuclear scientist Mohsen Fakhrizadeh (he was assassinated in November 2020 near Tehran), that was unveiled and started the clinical trial on March 16.
“Osvid-19”, the fourth domestic vaccine produced by Osvah Pharmaceutical Company is also undergoing human trials, which will also be available in early September.
On May 24, the first coronavirus vaccine made by the private sector in Iran succeeded in receiving the code of ethics and entered the phase of clinical studies.