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25 Jun, 2021 12:11

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei receives 1st dose of domestic vaccine to honor country’s scientists

Supreme Leader of Iran Ayatollah Khamenei receives 1st dose of domestic vaccine to honor country’s scientists

Iran’s supreme leader has received his first dose of the vaccine COVIran Barakat after expressing his strong preference to receive the domestic vaccine to honor the country’s scientific prowess.

Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was vaccinated with Iran’s COVIran Barakat vaccine on Friday. Despite being advised to receive a shot earlier, Khamenei chose to wait for the Iranian vaccine to be produced and approved: “I was being urged to use vaccine earlier. First of all, I was not eager to use non-Iranian vaccines. I said I would wait so… God willing the vaccine will be produced inside the country and I use our own vaccine.”

The supreme leader also documented his historic vaccination on Twitter. A montage of images shows the leader donning a protective mask in front of the Iranian flag, and being vaccinated. Another image shows a vial of COVIran Barakat in high definition. Khamenei also thanked the Iranian scientists for producing a vaccine with such “prestigious capability,” and used the hashtag #ProudlyIranian.

A video of his vaccination was also uploaded to Twitter.

Ayatollah Khamenei’s vaccination comes after the announcement from the president of Iran’s Academy of Medical Sciences (IAP), Seyed Alireza Marandi, that the supreme leader would soon be vaccinated. Marandi also said the supreme leader wanted to wait to receive the Iranian Covid vaccine when people in his age bracket, over 80, became eligible for vaccination.

The Iranian authorities approved the use of Shifafarmed’s COVIran Barakat on June 13 as the country grappled with high infection rates and deaths. Based on preliminary trials in late February, the vaccine boasted a reported efficacy of 90%.

Khamenei banned Covid vaccines from the US and UK for use in Iran in January, slamming them as “untrustworthy” in a live televised speech. However, Iran later purchased doses of AstraZeneca’s vaccine through the COVAX scheme and approved its use. Other approved vaccines include Russia’s Sputnik V, India’s Covaxin, and China’s Sinopharm.

Also on rt.com Ayatollah Ali Khamenei to receive Iranian-made vaccine in next few days – medical academy chief

Iran and Cuba have been working on a joint venture vaccine, Soberana-02, which the Tehran Times called “one of the most successful vaccines in the whole world.” However, it’s efficacy in trials is only around 62%.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, the Middle Eastern country has reported 3.14 million cases and almost 84,000 deaths, with average daily cases for the last week just under 10,000 per day.

Current data indicates that only 1.1% of Iran’s population is fully vaccinated.

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