More than half of Iran's population is fully vaccinated: officials

Iran announced Saturday that over half of its population of 85 million people is fully vaccinated.

The country, which now has 44 million residents who have received both doses of the coronavirus vaccine, has recorded at least 128,000 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic, The Associated Press reported. 

Iran's government also said the daily coronavirus death toll has been decreasing the past several months, partially as a result of the country's vaccination numbers, according to the AP. 


President Ebrahim Raisi on Saturday lifted nighttime traffic rules for private cars, which were previously prohibited on the streets from 9 p.m. to 4 a.m., the AP noted. 

Iranian authorities are cautioning their residents against complacency and warning that future coronavirus surges are likely. The last spike in cases in Iran was in August and was spurred by the more contagious delta variant. Iran's highest single daily death toll came on Aug. 24, with 709 reported deaths, the AP reported.

Less than half of Iran's population wears masks and follows social distancing protocols, according to the news outlet. 

The country mainly uses China's Sinopharm vaccine, as well as the Russian Sputnik-V and the AstraZeneza shot, the AP noted. Iran started using its natively-produced COVIran Barekat vaccine in June without sharing any data on its safety or effectiveness.