Iran received its first 700,800-dose shipment of the Oxford-AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccine as part of the global COVAX agreement.
“By the end of May, 3.6 million doses of the 16.8 million doses purchased through COVAX will be delivered to Iran,” head of the Health Ministry’s Public Relations and Information Center Kianoush Jahanpour tweeted on Tuesday.
Iran had previously said it purchased 4.2 million doses of the South Korea-manufactured AstraZeneca vaccine through the global vaccine initiative and expected them before Nowruz, the Iranian new year, on March 20.
COVAX was established by the Geneva-based GAVI vaccine alliance and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the equitable distribution of vaccines.
It had arrangements in place to access nearly two billion doses of COVID-19 vaccine candidates by the end of 2021, on behalf of 190 participating economies.
Iran has so far received 1.49 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine, the German news agency reported.
The rates of coronavirus infections and deaths in the country have increased significantly over the past few days.
According to Health Minister Saeed Namaki, Iran is now facing “one of the most severe waves of the coronavirus.”