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Hard-hit Iran claims half its population has been vaccinated against Covid

TEHRAN, IRAN - FEBRUARY 09: Parsa Namaki (L), son of Health Minister Saeed Namaki, receives the first jab to encourage public confidence in Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine during a vaccination program at Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran on February 09, 2021. ( Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency )
Parsa Namaki (L), son of Health Minister Saeed Namaki, receives the first jab to encourage public confidence in Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine during a vaccination program at Imam Khomeini Hospital in Tehran, Iran on February 09, 2021. [Fatemeh Bahrami - Anadolu Agency]

Iran claimed 44 million people have been vaccinated against COVID-19, The New Arab reported.

The country of 85 million people has been hit particularly hard by the global pandemic, which has recorded 128,000 Covid deaths, and has the highest numbers in the Middle East.

The health ministry said it recorded 118 new deaths, and 3,500 new cases in the past 24 hours.

However, the ministry also announced there was a downward trend in infections and deaths in recent months, which has been hailed as a result of the vaccine.

Due to decreasing cases and deaths, President Ebrahim Raisi lifted the restrictions slapped on private motorists, lifting the nighttime ban on cars from 9pm to 4am.

READ: Workplaces in Egypt ban unvaccinated public sector employees

Iran's vaccine programme consists of the Chinese Sinopharm vaccine, the Russian Sputnik-V, and the UK's AstraZeneca is also in circulation.

Iran has also developed its own homemade Covid vaccine, COVIran Barekat, of which head of state Ayatollah Khamenei received live on TV, whilst urging other Iranians to do the same. No data on efficacy or safety of the homegrown jab has been published.

According to reports, less than half of Iran's population follow Covid rules, including masks and social distancing, and the authorities have also cautioned that more surges are a strong possibility.

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CoronavirusIranMiddle EastNews
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