The first consignment of Cuban-made vaccines developed to curb the COVID-19 contagious disease arrived in Iran on Thursday.
The aircraft carrying the first shipment, including 100,000 doses of the vaccine, landed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini International Airport this afternoon.
Earlier, Iran had taken delivery of four consignments of the Russian-made Sputnik-V and one shipment of the Chinese-made Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines.
On Wednesday, Kianoush Jahanpour, who serves as spokesman of Iran’s food and drug authority, said a joint scheme between Iran and Russia to mass produce Sputnik V is to begin in Iran this month.
He said Sputnik V production in Iran will begin before the current calendar year ends in the country on March 20.
Jahanpour said that the manufacturing will take place in the facilities of an Iranian pharmaceutical company, adding that first batches of the vaccine will be available in late April.
He noted that Iran and Russia will produce between 36 million and 40 million doses of Sputnik V in Iran within the next 12 months.
Tehran and Moscow have agreed on joint manufacturing of the vaccine inside Iran mainly to increase supplies of the jab to countries in the Middle East region.
Iran has other local and international vaccine candidates to scale up its nationwide immunization program against the coronavirus.
Jahanpour repeated previous statements by government officials about the availability of locally-produced vaccines in the near future, saying a major jab being jointly developed by Iran and Cuba,, known as Pasteur vaccine, will start its mass trial in the coming weeks.
Officials have said that Pasteur vaccine will be available for injections in late April or in early May.
Jahanpour said Iran will become a major producer and even exporter of coronavirus vaccines within the next three months.