COVID-19 patients being treated at a hospital in the Iranian city of Arak amid another surge in coronavirus cases in the country. (Fars)

September 25, 2021

Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has claimed that in a few days around 60 million people with be vaccinated for Covid-19, while as of Friday only 15 million had received both doses.

Raisi who was speaking at the opening of schools on Saturday said 70 percent of the 85- million population will be vaccinated in a matter of days.

Data published on the health ministry’s website shows that 34 million have received just the first dose and 15 million both doses for a total of close to 50 million. It is clear that Raisi is counting people who received one dose as vaccinated.

Iran’s Covid vaccination lagged for months, as Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei banned the import of American and British vaccines in January. Iran acquired a limited quantity form China and Russia, while many of its neighbors were ahead using both Western and Chinese vaccines.

In early July a new wave of infections hit Iran and the death rate spiked. As Raisi assumed office in early August, officials began back-pedaling on Khamenei’s ban, claiming he had never banned any vaccines. Soon, large quantities began arriving from China, apparently ordered by the previous government, but the Raisi administration is taking the credit.

Iran International

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Track PersiaTrack Persia is a Platform run by dedicated analysts who spend much of their time researching the Middle East, in due process we fall upon many indications of growing expansionary ambitions on the part of Iran in the MENA region and the wider Islamic world. These ambitions commonly increase tensions and undermine stability.