Iran may not see a coronavirus vaccine for two years - health commission

Bakhtabadi told the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) that "people of Iran should know that there is no coronavirus vaccine available for them at the moment."

Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020 (photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
Vials with a sticker reading, "COVID-19 / Coronavirus vaccine / Injection only" and a medical syringe are seen in front of a displayed Pfizer logo in this illustration taken October 31, 2020
(photo credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION/FILE PHOTO)
One of the sitting members of the Iranian Health Commission, Sameh Bakhtabadi, claimed that a coronavirus will not be distributed in Iran for at least two years, if not longer.
According to Radio Farda, Bakhtabadi told the state-run Iran Students News Agency (ISNA) that the "people of Iran should know there is no coronavirus vaccine available for them at the moment."
"European countries have already purchased the vaccine and are set to use it. So, it will not be Iran's turn soon," Bakhtabadi said, according to the report. "Transportation of the coronavirus vaccine also has its specific complications," Bakhtabadi noted, adding that "Iran should rule out the import of vaccines from the United States."
However, these comments are contrast to Health Minister Saeed Namakis' remarks that Iran is in the midst of securing 18 million doses of the vaccine from European nations. According to the Radio Farda report, the minister said Iran had secured "four sources" to purchase the doses from.
It adds that Iran intends to work with the vaccine developers to buy surplus inventory.
President Hassan Rouhani said in televised remarks that he had instructed Iran’s Central Bank to provide the funds needed to import coronavirus vaccines.
Iran's total deaths from coronavirus surpassed 50,000 on Saturday, with more than one million people infected, although transmission rates in the Middle East's worst-affected country are slowing, state TV reported.
Tehran's Grand Bazaar, shopping malls and several other businesses re-opened after a two-week shutdown, following a 10-percent drop in infections over the past days.
Officials cautioned that the situation remained "fragile" in Tehran and in the other cities that have moved from the coronavirus red alert to the lower risk orange level, said the broadcast.
Iran's health ministry recorded a total of 50,016 coronavirus deaths on Saturday with 321 new fatalities in the previous 24 hours.
Ministry spokeswoman Sima Sadat Lari told state TV that 12,181 people had been infected with the coronavirus since Friday, taking the total number of COVID-19 infections to 1,028,986.