Iran develops new vaccine against Omicron variant of coronavirus

Iranian scientists have successfully developed a new vaccine customized to target the Omicron variant of coronavirus, with preliminary studies showing 100 percent effectiveness against the strain.

In a statement, Iran’s Shifa Pharmed Biotechnology Company said it began work to develop the vaccine, named Barekat Plus, after scientific findings suggested that the antibody produced by earlier versions of COVID-19 vaccines do not effectively work against Omicron.

A month into Omicron’s detection, Shifa Pharmed began producing the vaccine on the back of monitoring relevant scientific findings and consulting with experts in the field and conducted experiments on animals, the statement said.

The preliminary results of the studies indicate the 100% effectiveness against the Omicron strain and safety in animal experiments, it added.

Shifa Pharmed, the statement said, has started mass production of the vaccine amid the speedy spread of Omicron in the country and following the promising results of animal studies.

To get the necessary permit, Shifa Pharmed has submitted “proposed protocols” for clinical studies needed for decision-making to the Food and Drug Administration of the Ministry of Health and the Ethics Committee, it added.

Shifa Pharmed is the developer of the COVIran Barekat against COVID-19.

The country has sped up its vaccination campaign over the past weeks as it grapples with a sixth wave of infections with COVID-19, triggered by the fast-spreading Omicron variant.

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