Tehran, Feb 4 (IANS): Iran will start receiving doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine in February via the Covid-19 Vaccines Global Access (COVAX) platform, Minister of Health and Medical Education Saeed Namaki announced.
"AstraZeneca informed us the night before last that it will start delivering 4.2 million doses in February within the framework of COVAX," Namaki said in a video announcement on Wednesday.
Namaki also said that Iran's Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute has been authorised to start clinical trials of its vaccine candidate, and they will hopefully start the trials next week.
At her daily briefing, spokeswoman for the ministry, Sima Sadat Lari, said 6,870 new Covid-19 cases were detected in the past 24 hours, raising the country's overall count to 1,438,286 infections.
Of the newly infected, she noted, 701 had to be hospitalised.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, she added, 79 new deaths related to the coronavirus were registered, taking a death toll of 58,189 in the country.
She said 1,229,391 Covid-19 patients have as of Wednesday recovered or been released from Iranian hospitals.
So far, 9,449,685 tests for Covid-19 have been carried out in Iran, according to the spokesperson.
Iran announced its first Covid-19 cases on February 19, 2020.