Iran approves import of vaccine by private sector

Iran Ministry of Health has giver green light to import the COVID-19 vaccine by the private sector, member of Iran Chamber of Commerce Hamid Hosseini told SİA.

"The spokesperson for the Ministry of Health Ali Raiesi and the spokesman of the Iran Food and Drug Administration have green lighted the import finally and indicated that the issue has been coordinated with the minister," he said.

"One of our requests was that ministries would import vaccine for their staff members, for example Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs can import vaccine (via private sector) for it's retired employees," Hosseini said.

"The Ministry of Health has stated that the private sector can import vaccine but they should be placed in Ministry of Health distributing system upon the arrival," he said.

"The Ministry of Health states that these imported vaccines by private sector should be distributed via ministry's distribution network therefore private sector practically has no interest in importing the vaccine," Hosseini said.

Iran continues to monitor the coronavirus situation in the country. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease.

The Islamic Republic of Iran only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19. The pandemic hit a wide range of businesses in Iran since its outbreak in mid-February.

The outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan - which is an international transport hub - began at a fish market in late December 2019. The World Health Organization (WHO) on March 11 declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.

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