Iran to administer 1.4m coronavirus vaccine doses by Friday: Rouhani

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani says approximately 1.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccines will be administered in the country by Friday, in a bid to vaccinate high-risk groups.

“By [Friday], approximately 1.4 million vaccines will be injected, God willing,” Rouhani said in remarks on Friday.

He said the first high-risk group, which includes 7 to 8 million people older than 65, will be soon vaccinated in Iran.

After they are vaccinated, the president continued, “we will move ahead to the second [high-risk] group.”

“All the efforts are aimed at, God willing, importing vaccines and providing people with them … and then the people would be able to move on from this issue toward a more promising future,” he added.

Later in the day, the Iranian Health Ministry said 319 more people had died of the highly infectious disease in the last 24 hours, bringing the total number of recorded deaths from the virus in Iran to 66,327. The ministry also announced 21,312 new cases.

Earlier this month, Rouhani recalled the difficulties of importing sanctions, saying, “Wherever there is a vaccine, we immediately provide money to purchase it.”

“I want to say that this is not a simple matter,” he said. “The administration, the Health Ministry and the Central Bank have taken all the necessary measures … and I stress that nothing comes before the issue of vaccines for us.”