Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif says the country has approved Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine and plans to both import it and produce it, giving the country a tool to fight the spread of COVID-19.
“The Sputnik V vaccine was yesterday registered and approved by our health authorities,” Zarif said at a meeting with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, in Moscow on Tuesday.
“In the near future, we hope to be able to purchase it, as well as start joint production.”
Earlier this month Iran’s Leader Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei banned the government from importing vaccines from the United States and Britain, which he said were possibly seeking to spread the infection to other countries.
Iran is at the same time developing its own vaccine, named CovIran Barakat, and is also producing a joint vaccine with Cuba.
The country has also purchased around 17 million doses of foreign-made vaccines from the COVAX, the first batches of which are expected to be imported in coming weeks.
Iran’s government spokesman Ali Rabiei announced on Tuesday that the vaccination of high-risk groups of people will begin before the 42nd anniversary of the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution in February.