Middle East/North Africa

Iran expects to receive 150K doses of Pfizer vaccine from US-based philanthropists

U.S. donors have arranged for around 150,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine for COVID-19 to be sent to Iran, state media reported Monday.

The Washington Post reported that a statement from Iran’s branch of the Red Crescent Society carried by the Tasnim news agency credited the donation to “coordination with a group of benefactors in the U.S.”

The donation of vaccines comes as Iran has struggled to contain the virus and blamed U.S.-led sanctions for its inability to import needed medical supplies.

The country also plans to receive roughly 1 million doses of the vaccine for COVID-19 from China, according to the Red Crescent.

“Our people should know that for any action we plan to carry out for importing medicine, vaccines and equipment, we should curse [President] Trump a hundred times,” Iranian President Hassan Rouhani said earlier this month, addressing Iran’s difficulties in obtaining necessary supplies.

The U.S. policy of sanctions has also faced independent criticism, most notably from the Atlantic Council, whose Future of Iran initiative director Barbara Slavin said the Trump administration’s sanctions “will hurt ordinary people, encourage more smuggling and in the long run, undermine dollar-based sanctions.”

Whether the vaccine will be adequately distributed in Iran is another matter, as the Post reports that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard has cautioned citizens against taking any vaccine manufactured in a foreign country, and experts have warned for months that the extreme cold-storage requirements for the Pfizer vaccine will make distribution in Iran difficult. 

Tags Coronavirus coronavirus vaccine COVID-19 vaccine Hassan Rouhani Iran Pfizer Pfizer vaccine Red Crescent Society
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