COVID-19 Vaccination Drive in Full Swing Nationwide: Iran’s President

The Iranian president says the government is moving full steam ahead with the coronavirus inoculation plan nationwide to tackle the disease, and has mobilized all its potential to buy vaccines.

President Hassan Rouhani said on Saturday the situation will hopefully improve thanks to the inoculation program.

“Thank God, vaccination has got underway in our country, and the situation will get better in the weeks ahead both for our medical personnel across the nation and for the elderly or those suffering from underlying diseases,” he added.

“The government has mobilized all its potential to buy vaccines. On the whole, our situation is such that we will provide as much vaccine as we can,” the president noted.

Rouhani recalled that vaccines are not abundant today the same way that face masks were in short supply at the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. 

“Of course, all of our people know that vaccines today are similar to face masks in the early days of the outbreak of this disease. Masks were hard to find in the early days of the outbreak of this disease, and some countries seized mask shipments coming in from other countries at airports, and they would redirect airplanes mid-air and all that.,” he added.

“We remember what the situation was like in the early days of this disease. Today, the same situation that we were in with regards to masks applies to the vaccine around the world. It’s a big test for the whole world,” he said.

The president underlined although countries normally put their own people first when it comes to procuring coronavirus vaccines, they should also care about other people across the globe as this is a humanitarian issue.

“Developed, wealthy countries which have facilities want to monopolize and get their hands on all vaccines available and immediately launch inoculation plans for their own people. Part of that is natural as any government normally cares about its own people. But here, moral and human principles tell us that we should pass this test successfully and care about all people around the world,” he explained.

The president said there will not be complete immunity against the virus unless inoculation is conducted worldwide.

“Anyway, it is a pandemic. It is a disease which has gripped the whole world. Even if one country conducts the inoculation plan 100% percent, it won’t be completely immune because people travel to and from other countries. Real immunity will materialize when vaccination takes place across the world and all countries can use the vaccine,” he added.

President Rouhani underscored another issue is that it unclear how effective the vaccines are.

“First of all, the effectiveness of the vaccines is not very much clear to us. Now, it is not clear which vaccine is more effective, how long its effect will remain, what its side effects are. These points are all in a shroud of mystery,” he said.

“After all, there are people in the world who avoid vaccination because they are afraid to receive the jab. So, there are a lot of ambiguities in the world about this,” he added.

“But under the current circumstances, we have no other option but to abide by the protocols and do the vaccination. There are no other choices and we cannot do anything else. Vaccines should be used. Vaccines bring immunity for many individuals, but there is uncertainty over how long or to what extent the vaccines bring immunity,” he said.

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