Iran’s health ministry spokeswoman says US sanctions have prevented Iran from making pre-payments for the coronavirus vaccine.
Sima Sadat Lari said Iran is trying to make advance payments to purchase the COVAX coronavirus vaccine, but has been unable to do so, so far, due to the United States’ sanctions and problems with foreign currency transfer.
Elsewhere in her remarks, she said there are numerous claims about coronavirus vaccines produced across the world so far, but the World Health Organization can approve the degree of their effectiveness and immunization only after some time has passed.
She said news that coronavirus vaccines have been produced should not give us ease of mind and make us look at the pandemic as an ordinary issue because the extent of the immunity it builds up and the effectiveness of the vaccines are not clear yet.
“The most important questions about the coronavirus vaccines are, how effective the vaccine is and for what groups it is more effective,” she said.
“Deaths caused by the COVID-19 infection are more prevalent among the elderly and patients with underlying health conditions,” she noted.
She said the world has a population of roughly 8 billion people, and if each person needs two doses of the vaccine, some 16 billion doses of the COVID-19 vaccine will be needed.
“It is not clear how long it will take to produce this amount of the vaccine,” said the spokeswoman.
“The flu vaccine develops 60-70% immunity, at best. As for the coronavirus, we still don’t know how much immunity it will develop,” she noted.
“So, the best action to take in order to tackle coronavirus is physical distancing and using masks,” the spokeswoman noted.
“Of course, we should note that physical distancing is necessary, but not enough, and masks must be used, too,” she added.
“Even ventilation is very important,” Sadat Lari said.