Iran to start out human trials on second native COVID vaccine | Coronavirus pandemic Information
The announcement comes on the same day that Iran’s first vaccine, COVIran Barekat, completed its first phase of human studies.
Tehran, Iran – A second locally made COVID-19 vaccine will soon begin human trials in Iran, officials said.
The vaccine, called Razi COV-Pars, was unveiled on Sunday in a ceremony in Tehran attended by numerous high-ranking officials.
It was made by the Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Iran’s oldest vaccine institute with almost 100 years of history.
According to Iranian Food and Drug Administration spokesman Kianoush Jahanpour, the vaccine will be tested on 130 volunteers in its first phase.
He said Razi COV-Pars is an mRNA vaccine that reconstructs a harmless piece of the virus’ spike protein. It is assessed in its first phase in the form of both an injection and an inhalation, with the results determining the final protocol of use.
Health Minister Saeed Namaki told the audience at the unveiling ceremony that the vaccine had shown very few side effects so far and would prevent the recipient from spreading the virus to others.
Agriculture Minister Kazem Khavazi said animal testing of the vaccine began more than nine months ago and tests have been carried out on around 500 animals.
“Testing on 25 monkeys was also an unprecedented record and a major endeavor in which large numbers of Razi Institute staff contracted the virus,” he was quoted as saying by the state’s IRNA.
The news came on the same day as the first Iranian vaccine, COVIran Barekat, completed its first phase of human studies in which the vaccine was administered to 56 volunteers, including a number of officials.
Human trials for the local two-dose vaccine had started in late December, and officials said the first results will be released in less than a month.
Hojjat Niki Maleki, head of media for Setad, the powerful state organization under Supreme Leader Khamenei that runs the Barekat project, said on Sunday that two Arab countries had officially asked to buy the vaccine without naming the countries.
The first shipment of 10,000 doses of the Russian Sputnik V vaccine arrived in Iran last week, just over a week after Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif announced in Moscow that the vaccine had been approved for use in Iran as an emergency.
Sputnik V, the purchase of which sparked a vaccine debate in Iran, is said to be 91.6 percent effective in the peer-reviewed results published last week.
The first doses of the vaccine are due to be given to frontline medical professionals working in intensive care units in Iranian hospitals on Tuesday, a day before the 42nd anniversary of the birth of the current ruling Iranian establishment.
Iran tackles the deadliest COVID-19 outbreak in the Middle East, with more than 58,000 deaths and more than 1.4 million confirmed infections.