TEHRAN, Dec. 9 (Xinhua) -- One Iranian vaccine project has already received a license for human trial, and three others will receive it in January, Director of the Scientific Commission in Iran's National Headquarters for Combating the Coronavirus Mostafa Ghanei said Wednesday.
"The COVID-19 vaccine that recently received a license for human trial belongs to the Headquarters for Executing the Order of the Imam Khomeini (HEOIK), and it is hoped that by the end of January three more companies will have received a license," Ghanei said to Iranian official news agency IRNA.
The vaccine under development by HEOIK through its Barakat Foundation uses entire killed viruses to immunize the patient's body, the official said.
On Tuesday evening, Iran's President Hassan Rouhani said the order to purchase vaccines for COVID-19 from "one country" has already been issued in Tehran, while at the same time efforts to develop local vaccines continue.
"Last night, I ordered that a vaccine be purchased from that country and imported into Iran," Rouhani said as chairman of a meeting of the Specialized Committees of Iran's National Headquarters for Combating the Coronavirus, as broadcasted by the Iranian government's Information Center.
Rouhani bitterly criticized the United States' unilateral embargoes on the country, and explained that it takes Iranian authorities "weeks, sometimes months" to make simple transactions that could easily be done "with a single phone call."
Kianoush Jahanpour, a spokesman of the Iranian Food and Drug Administration (IFDA), said to official news agency IRNA that Iran has pre-ordered some 16.8 million shots of the World Health Organization's (WHO) vaccine project COVAX.
"In addition to that, negotiations are underway with four countries to pre-order 20 to 21 million doses of coronavirus vaccines which, if approved by the IFDA, would be used in the country", he noted.
Moreover, he further explained, some 4 million doses of vaccine would be supplied by Iranian and foreign companies through joint manufacturing ventures.
Foreign vaccines, Jahanpour elaborated, will be allocated to high risk groups, while the rest of the Iranian population's needs will be met through domestic manufacturing. Enditem