The news on the discarded doses was announced by the director of public relations at the Execution of Imam Khomeini’s Order (EIKO) Headquarters, a foundation in charge of the production of the vaccine a few days ago.
“In the vaccine manufacturing industry, after quality control tests are completed, batches which do not meet the required standards are removed from the production line and discarded. This happens in all vaccine production lines across the world and it took place even at Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson after their production of coronavirus vaccines,” said Asghar Abdoli.
“Putting away vaccines, which fail to meet the necessary standards, is a positive point and demonstrates the transparency of the manufacturing plant [‘s operations], because it shows the health of the consumers of the shot, i.e. people, are the priority [for the producers].”
Abdoli added that each batch of coronavirus vaccines undergoes more than 10 quality control tests.
“After the production of each batch of coronavirus vaccine, tests such as Host Cell DNA, Endotoxin, microbial and viscosity and other tests are conducted on the vaccine. All these tests should be completed for the production of each batch of vaccine. All these tests must also be completed for the Barekat jab before we can mass administer it among the public. This process is being completed well,” said Abdoli.
The virologist added that quality, and not the quantity, is of prime significance when it comes to anti-COVID vaccines, stressing that these jabs are being produced in Iran with utmost care.
Abdoli also dismissed allegations on social media about shortage of the raw material and a special gel used in the Barekat vaccine.
“There are discussions on the shortage of raw material for the Barekat vaccine, which are pure gossip. The production technology for this Iranian coronavirus vaccine is fully indigenous and we need no country in the processing of the jab. We have raw material required for production of 100 million doses of the anti-COVID shot. Rest assured, if we were dependent on another country for the manufacturing of this vaccine, they would not allow us to produce it inside the country,” he said.
He was reacting to rumours that a gel, exclusively produced by the US, is needed to manufacture the Iranian vaccine, and lack of access to the gel has forced officials to discard over a two million doses of the jab.
“The gel being talked about is the chromatography gel and naturally Iran has no exchanges with American companies to import it,” Abdoli added.