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22nd Feb 2022

Iran returns 820,000 vaccine doses as sixth covid wave hits because they were US-made

Charlie Herbert

The doses had initially been donated by Poland

Iran has sent back 820,000 doses of a covid vaccine after finding out that they were manufactured in the United States.

According to Iranian state TV, Poland had donated about a million doses of the British-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine to Iran.

They quote Mohammad Hashemi, an official in the Iranian Health Ministry, as saying: “When the vaccines arrived in Iran, we found out that 820,000 doses of them which were imported from Poland were from the United States.”

Hashimi added that “after coordination with the Polish ambassador to Iran, it was decided that the vaccines would be returned,” ABC News reports.

In 2020, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei declared that no American or British vaccines would enter the country, saying they were “forbidden.”

The only vaccines that Iran now imports are not produced by either of the two countries.

This is despite the fact that the country is experiencing a sixth wave of the virus, with the Omicron variant now thought to be the dominant strain in the country. Iran also has the highest covid death toll of any country in the Middle East.

Since the start of the pandemic, the country has seen more than 135,000 deaths from the virus and has registered almost 7,000,000 cases.

The country says it has double-jabbed around 90 per cent of its over-18 population. However just 37 per cent of over-18s have had a third dose of the vaccine.

The main vaccine Iran has used so far has been the Sinopharm jab, which was developed in China.

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