Udayavni Special

Iran begins first human trial of locally made virus vaccine


PTI, Dec 29, 2020, 8:18 PM IST

Tehran: The first study of the safety and effectiveness of a COVID-19 vaccine in Iran began Tuesday, state TV reported, with dozens due to receive the domestically developed shot even as details about its production remained slim.

The vaccine, the first in the country to reach human trials, is produced by Shifa Pharmed, part of a state-owned pharmaceutical conglomerate known as Barekat.

The company’s website describes it as involved in the large-scale production of antibiotics and penicillin, without offering any details about its novel coronavirus research, results of animal trials or previous vaccine development since its founding in 1995.

Iran has struggled to stem the worst virus outbreak in the region, which has infected over 1.2 million people and killed nearly 55,000.

The study, a Phase 1 clinical trial, will enroll a total of 56 volunteers to receive two shots of the Iranian vaccine within two weeks, according to Hamed Hosseini, a clinical trial manager.

Results are to be announced roughly a month after the second shot.

Three people received the first injections on Tuesday in a ceremony at a Tehran hotel attended by the country’s health minister.

State TV announced that none of the injections had so far caused any “fevers” or “bodily shocks.”

“I am happy that the scientific process went ahead in a proper way,” said Tayebeh Mokhber, daughter of the Setad Foundation chairman, who was the first to get jabbed. “I hope the conclusion will be health for our people.”

The Setad Foundation, controlled by the office of Iran’s supreme leader, oversees the Barekat conglomerate.

The treatment, dubbed Coviran, is a so-called inactivated vaccine, meaning it is made of a novel coronavirus that’s been weakened or killed by chemicals, similar to how polio immunizations are made.

Leading Western vaccines, like the shot made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, use newer, less-proven technology to target the novel coronavirus spike protein using RNA.

Iranian authorities expect the vaccine to hit the market by late spring 2021, an extremely aggressive timeline.

Before this year’s fast-tracked development of novel coronavirus vaccines, the usual methods of testing a vaccine for safety and efficacy with mass trials could take up to a decade.

With government-funded research into viral proteins and genetics accelerating the development of vaccines worldwide, countries have approved vaccines for emergency use and launched inoculation programs at record-breaking speed.

American drugmakers Pfizer and Moderna received endorsements after reporting their vaccines were more than 90% effective at protecting against the novel coronavirus in large, advanced clinical trials.

China and Russia approved their vaccines for emergency use while still in late-stage testing. Their early interim data, although promising, lacks clarity and raises questions about vaccine efficacy.

Iran has not elaborated on its regulatory approval process or plans for more advanced trials.

President Hassan Rouhani has said Iran is cooperating with a “foreign country” to produce another vaccine expected to run in tests in human volunteers in February, without offering further details.

The government has touted Iran’s domestic vaccine research, repeatedly alleging that tough American sanctions undermine efforts to purchase foreign-made vaccines and launch mass inoculation campaigns like those underway in the US and Europe.

While US sanctions do have specific carve-outs for medicine and humanitarian aid to Iran, international banks and financial institutions hesitate in dealing with Iranian transactions for fear of being fined or locked out of the American market.

Still, Iran retains routes to imported vaccines, including through COVAX, an international program designed to distribute novel coronavirus vaccines to participating countries around the world.

On Monday, Iran said it expects a group of US-based benefactors to ship thousands of Pfizer novel coronavirus vaccine in the coming weeks.

Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.

Top News

Jayalalithaa memorial inaugurated in TN by CM

Sasikala released from prison after serving 4-year jail-term

Must watch five South Indian films on Amazon Prime

In India, over 139 million women and girls now use modern methods of contraception: Report

12,689 fresh COVID-19 cases take India’s infection tally to 1,06,89,527

Unknown if vaccinated people can spread Covid-19: EMA

Council Chairman’s post: BJP and JDS to join hands?


Related Articles More

Pak govt decides to amend constitution for Senate election

Israeli military chief warns of new plans to strike Iran

Look forward to working with Biden administration: Indian ambassador

250,000 people affected by Cyclone Eloise in Mozambique reports UN

Pak Opposition backs out from talks with govt

MUST WATCH

Farmers across Country back Centre’s Farm Bills

KAMIL RAZA | Incredible Portrait Paintings by Artist from udupi

Deralakatte Ayyappa temple robbery case: Two arrested

Mangaluru: Minister Kota Srinivas Poojary hoists flag at D.K district Republic Day celebrations

Mithun Shetty Hebri | Banana Farming information Guide for Beginners

Latest Additions

Reliance Industries shares decline over 2 pc; Future Retail tanks 5 pc

Jayalalithaa memorial inaugurated in TN by CM

Sasikala released from prison after serving 4-year jail-term

Must watch five South Indian films on Amazon Prime

In India, over 139 million women and girls now use modern methods of contraception: Report

Thanks for visiting Udayavani

You seem to have an Ad Blocker on.
To continue reading, please turn it off or whitelist Udayavani.