A total of 700,000 doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine were shipped to Iran as part of the COVAX initiative’s procurement of millions of doses.
The first shipment, which included 700,800 doses of the vaccine, landed in Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Airport Monday night, according to an Iranian official and UNICEF, which handled distribution.
The SK-Bio Institute in South Korea developed the doses that were distributed.
“By the end of May, 3.6 million doses of the 16.8 million doses purchased through COVAX will be delivered to Iran,” said Kianush Janahpur, spokesman for Iran’s Food and Drug Administration, in a tweet.
Iran had previously announced that it intended to obtain 4.2 million doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine via the global vaccine initiative before Nowruz, the Iranian new year, on March 20.
“Achieving this important milestone aimed at ensuring the global goal of equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the world through COVAX facility is the key priority for WHO and partners,” UNICEF said in a press release after delivering the vaccines.
Iran has received over 1.7 million doses of international vaccines and 500,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine. It has received 250,000 Sinopharm vaccine doses from China, 125,000 COVAXIN vaccine doses from India, and 100,000 doses of its joint vaccine with Cuba.
Iran also has three domestic vaccines in different stages of clinical trials, with mass production set to begin by the end of the spring season.
Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Partnership for Disease Preparedness Technologies are leading the COVAX project (CEPI).